Algeria: heat wave, blackouts and street protests

Sonelgas can't meet growing demand

16 July, 19:31

(ANSAMed) - TUNIS, JULY 16 - Hundreds of Algerians have been protesting repeated blackouts caused by the crushing heat wave that has reached 50 degrees in some southern regions, and the new government-built housing units continually being added to the grid, sources said. Hundreds of people, most of them young, took to the streets in Beskra and El Kantara over the weekend, throwing stones and Molotov cocktails as the police responded with tear gas, resulting in several injuries and arrests.

The government is building 10 of 1000s of new housing units throughout the country, but Sonelgas, the public power utility, can't keep up with demand, sources said.

Paradoxically in this gas and hydrocarbon-rich country, the repeated blackouts have led to an increase in hospitalizations of food-poisoned children and adolescents, who got sick eating from eating food left unrefridgerated too long. (ANSAMed).

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