What is “Load Shedding”?

Boy reading in near-total darkness by candlelight

Reading by candlelight during Load Shedding hours
(Photo credit: Awaken Nepal)

Just like in BC, most of Nepal’s electricity comes from hydro-electric dams located within its borders. Unlike BC, Nepal does not generate anywhere near enough power to supply all of the country’s demand. The resulting power management through rolling black-outs is called “Load Shedding”.

What this means in real life is that now, in Kathmandu, there are 12 hours a day with no power. As the dry season continues, hours with electricity will be decreased as the dams are drained until the monsoon resumes in June and rivers again become torrents.

How does this relate to Jackets for Jasper? Well, Rajan’s factory not only needs light to see by, but the sewing machines are electric!

How does Rajan manage? He has a generator, which can extend their working hours to some degree. But they simply work when there is power and cannot work when there is none. In his own words, “Anyway… we just do. It is habit”.

A market cart of oranges and bananas lit by candlelight

Market during evening load shedding hours
(Photo credit: Indanile)

So for our Jackets for Jasper, they are literally working as hard and as much as they can when the electricity is on. Nepal has very little foreign investment so it is great that, together, we can help a small company compete in such challenging (and often dark!) circumstances.