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Afghanistan’s Capital, Kabul Faces Blackout as Taliban Fails to Pay its Electrical Bills

Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul could be put into darkness as the winter sets in because the country’s new Taliban rulers haven’t paid countries that supply it with electricity or resumed collecting money from citizens who use it.

Electricity imports from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan provide half of Afghanistan’s power consumption nationwide, with Iran providing additional supplies to the country’s west. Domestic production, mostly at hydropower stations, has been affected by this year’s rain drought.

Afghanistan lacks a national power grid, and Kabul depends almost completely on imported power from Central Asian countries.

Tajikistan, whose relationship with the Taliban is rapidly deteriorating is the country’s main power supplier. It could decide to cut off its power supply for nonpayment of electrical fees, according to Reuters.

Unless addressed, the situation could cause a humanitarian disaster, warned Daud Noorzai, who resigned as chief executive of the country’s state power supplier, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat, nearly two weeks after the Taliban’s takeover on Aug. 15.

The consequences would be countrywide, but especially in Kabul. There will be blackout and it would bring Afghanistan back to the Dark Ages when it comes to power and to telecommunications,” said Mr. Noorzai, who remains in close contact with DABS’s remaining management. “This would be a really dangerous situation.”

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