28 Aug 2010

Power cuts in Egypt

12:05 pm on 28 August 2010

Cities across Egypt have been hit by daily blackouts during the past two weeks, sparking protests and calls for the electricity minister to be sacked.

The power cuts - the worst in decades - come amid sweltering temperatures during the fasting month of Ramadan.

The BBC reports they are often before and during iftar - the sunset meal which breaks the daily fast - and sometimes last for 20 minutes.

The government has blamed the problem on higher consumption and says it is taking steps to restore the service. It promises to increase the capacity of the national grid.

Consumers are being used not to waste electricity.

There have been protests in the capital, Cairo, and demonstrations outside government offices.