By Ali Owaida
MARIB, Yemen (AA) - Electricity was finally restored to some parts of Yemen’s western Al-Hudaydah province Friday after a nearly one-year hiatus.
Yemen’s official news agency, currently controlled by the Shia Houthi group, said technical teams from the state-run General Electricity Corporation were gradually restoring the province’s power supply.
"Electricity has now been restored in the Al-Hali and Al-Kornesh areas of Al-Hudaydah city as a first step towards restoring the power supply throughout the entire province," the news agency reported.
At a Friday meeting of local officials, Jamaii Kulaib, head of Al-Hudaydah’s local electricity company, attributed the delay to "technical problems" caused by power transformers, more than 36 of which had been stolen, he said, while a number of electricity cables had been vandalized.
Khaled al-Adeemi, the company’s director for distribution, called on local residents to take the necessary precautions, such as uncoupling solar power lines and electrical generators from main electricity lines, before the power supply was fully reactivated.
The return of electricity to Al-Hudaydah comes after the arrival of large amounts of diesel fuel -- needed to generate electricity -- to the Houthi-held province.
For the last year, residents of Al-Hudaydah -- known for its high temperatures and humidity -- had suffered from a total lack of electricity.
In May of last year, power was cut in most provinces of war-torn Yemen, including Sanaa and other major cities, after the Public Electricity Corporation failed to repair the lines linking Marib’s electricity-generating station to the capital.
Repairs were necessary after the station -- which supplies electricity to most of the country -- was damaged by fighting between the Houthis and forces loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.
Under these circumstances, and with a severe shortage of petroleum products on the local market, many Yemenis had turned to solar energy to meet their power needs.
*Ali Abo Rezig contributed to this report from Ankara