Women In Rural Bannu Take To Streets Against Rising Utility Prices, Power Outages

Women In Rural Bannu Take To Streets Against Rising Utility Prices, Power Outages
Women in the rural areas of Bannu, Khyber Paktunkwha (KP) have taken to the streets to protest excessive load-shedding and the surging prices of gas and electricity.  They joined the demonstrations of women in urban Lakki Marwat, who had also been protesting against rising utility prices.

Protesters said that residents of the rural areas of Bannu were suffering through excessive electricity outages. They reported that they had asked the Peshawar Electric Supply Company (PECO) authorities to reduce load-shedding, but had not seen improved conditions as of yet.

The demonstrators allege that PESCO has shifted the electricity reserved for their area to the power feeder of other localities, leading to outages to cover their losses.

In the last year, the price of electricity has been raised nine times.


The women blocked the Bannu-Naurang Road.  Police and officials from PESCO were forced to appear to assuage the women, assuring that the company would adhere to the approved load-shedding schedule.

Women in Lakki Marwat reported similar conditions. In addition to prolonged power outages, they face low gas pressure and inactive tube wells. The inoperative tube wells, which have been turned off due to power outages, have caused a shortage of drinking water and damaged wheat crops, a main form of income for many in the district.

In response to the protests, Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif, information adviser to KP Chief Minister Mehmood Khan, explained that the power and gas transmission system in the area was the responsibility of the federal government, not provincial.  He further said that the loadshedding was due to power theft and illegal usage.

Representatives from the newly elected local government attended the protests, and assured demonstrators that they were working with the greater provincial and federal governments to resolve the matter.