KHARTOUM, April 4 (Xinhua) -- The repeated electricity outage amid a wave of heat, as well as the scarcity of cooking gas combined to aggravate the sufferings of the Sudanese people during the holy month of Ramadan.
Sudan's capital Khartoum and some other provinces witness a temperature as high as 44 degrees centigrade.
Al-Munzir Ahmed Al-Haj, a Sudanese meteorologist, told Xinhua on Monday that "early activity of Sudan's thermal low" led to the current heat wave.
The frequent power cuts, which last for about six hours a day, have bedeviled the Sudanese citizens in the baking hot.
Osman Dau Al-Bait, acting director of Sudan's electricity company, attributed in a statement on Monday the power outage to technical faults and some other reasons outside the scope of the electricity company.
He said the electricity administration was currently seeking to address the issue, expressing regret for the citizens over the wide power cuts during Ramadan.
In the meantime, the cooking gas distribution agencies and sales centers in Khartoum are crowded with citizens looking for cooking gas cylinders.
"We are suffering from a lack of cooking gas and a hike in its prices," Noha Osman, a housewife, told Xinhua on Monday.
The price of filling a gas cylinder (25 kg) reached 2,500 Sudanese pounds, while its price in the black market ranged between 11,000 and 13,000 pounds. The official exchange rate of 1 U.S. dollar is set at about 570 pounds on Monday.
Gas distribution agents indicated the great shortage was due to a fault in the main refinery, which caused a scarcity and a rise in the prices.
Sudan has been facing an economic crisis after the United States and international agencies suspended aid worth hundreds of millions of dollars after Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, the general commander of the Sudanese Armed Forces, declared a state of emergency on Oct. 25, 2021 and dissolved the Sovereign Council.
The U.S. has suspended 700 million dollars in economic aid to Sudan, while the World Bank failed to provide 500 million dollars to Sudan, which was expected in November 2021. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has also halted 150 million dollars in special drawing rights for Sudan.
Sudan's debt relief process under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative of the IMF has also been suspended.
Sudan has been plagued by an economic crisis since the secession of South Sudan in 2011, due to which Sudan has lost 75 percent of its oil revenues. ■