"Poverty, difficulty of living, high prices and lack of jobs make life a nightmare for many Syrians, especially the people of Hama, in light of all the difficulties they are experiencing in their bitter life", says Mohammad, one of the city's residents.
These reasons were enough to encourage a number of residents to steal electricity from the cables spreading across the city, where the practice spread among the neighborhoods of Hama, particularly its poor districts.
Mohammad claims the high cost of electricity and the cumulative bills imposed on people made accessing power a minor concern for a lot of families – a luxury they can ignore – even though availability lasts no longer than three or four hours a day. Some families have resorted to stealing electricity to compensate for this shortfall, without having to pay thousands of Syrian pounds for electricity bills, as conditions are unbearable, while electricity remains an urgent need.
But the theft has had a negative impact on the people, and the city's neighborhoods, as power stations can no longer cope with high electrical loads, with resulting blackouts sometimes lasting for more than 10 days due to a lack of repair parts.
Khalid, an electricity technician in Hama, says the lack of spare parts and maintenance, as well as the significant increase in the number of thefts, had a direct impact on the old stations in the city. Tens of neighborhoods are deprived of electricity, many of them may wait more than 15 days for power to return.
Many in the city purchase those spare parts and replace them themselves in order to access electricity for at least one hour a day.
While the problem spreads throughout the city, the regime remains oblivious to the concerns of its people.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer