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5 Jan, 2016 16:21

‘We can’t close, people need bread’: Syrians tell RT how they cope with Damascus blackouts

In the grip of war, Syrians have been coming up with ways to power the country. Damascus has been rationing electricity, while residents must resort to additional tricks to make it last, as RT's Murad Gazdiev found out.

Without items such as truck battery packs and other tricks, people would have to choose between lighting the Christmas tree, watching television and heating a meal.

Generators also prove a lifesaver during lengthy blackouts, when an entire part of the Syrian capital has to go without electricity as they wait their turn. “We get power for two hours, then it’s cut for four,” Eva, a Damascus resident, told RT.

“We heard the rebels blew up gas and oil pipelines to power plants, which explains the electricity shortage,” she added.

Although the cuts are scheduled, there is no guarantee things will work like clockwork.

The loud roar of generators can be heard practically all over Damascus, as businesses continue working so life can go on as normal. But not everyone has access to a costly generator, which requires fuel, oil and other items.

However, as business owner Ibrahim says, “We can’t close. We have to feed the people, to make bread and other things. You have to continue to work, you can’t stop!”

Syria has been torn apart by the violent conflict for almost five years, with more than 250,000 people killed, according to UN estimates. The humanitarian crisis has internally displaced more than 6.5 million Syrians and forced 4.3 million to flee the country. They have sought refuge in neighboring countries and Europe.