Urban Voice, a Phnom Penh-based crowdsourcing initiative, has mapped the blackouts which have become frequent in the city and other parts of Cambodia. In the past two months, Urban Voice has received over 110 reports of power cuts with some districts experiencing ten-hour long power cuts.
Last May 22, a power failure in south Vietnam plunged Phnom Penh into darkness. Vietnam provides Cambodia with some 40 percent of its power supply. The massive blackout sparked online discussion about the country’s power supply situation. Citizens are demanding explanation about the recurring blackouts in recent months.
Although power returned around 8pm, Phnom Penh’s residents remain disgruntled. The mass outage follows a month of severe power cuts around the city, resulting in extensive socio-economic costs due to their unpredictability.
My Sovann of Urban Voice presented the mapping result to Electricité du Cambodge, the country’s electricity provider:
The issue at stake here is thus not that power cuts occur, it is their unpredictability. Not knowing when, where, and for how long power cuts will take place, imposes socio-economic costs on businesses, organisations, and individuals. These could easily be avoided if Phnom Penh residents knew when to expect power cuts, and would hence be able to make alternative arrangements.
Urban Voice urges the company to publish the schedule of the power cuts:
Here are some reactions on Twitter about the blackouts in Cambodia:
Here’s our message to the Electricité du Cambodge (EDC): Publish the Power Cuts, or give us a better explanation for why disclosing a schedule is supposedly “impossible.”
@CarrieJeanneJ Longest blackout in my Cambodian history. I'm sitting on our roof with a (slight) breeze,listening to geckos “geck-o”-ing&crickets chirping.
@C_Panhavion and it's raining, let it pour down and frozen the earth. damn hot recently since the electricity usually cut off.
@Sokly543 Electricity is cut off. I can't do anything now