The President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, has declared Fridays in April and May a holiday, due to the extensive drought in the country. Venezuelan leaders are hoping this will save electricity, as hydro-electricity plants power much of the country’s electricity needs.
How Venezuela is addressing drought crisis
In addition, Mr. Maduro said they have also requested large users of electricity, such as shopping malls and hotels to cut their energy consumption by relying on their own energy sources for 9 hours a day, with an overall goal of cutting 20% consumption.
“This plan for 60 days, for two months, will allow the country to get through the most difficult period with the most risk,” said President Maduro on state television late Wednesday. “I call on families, on the youth, to join this plan with discipline, with conscience and extreme collaboration to confront this extreme situation.’
Unfortunately for Venezuela, the country tops the list of the 2016 projected misery index, and the country blames the drought on the El Nino weather system.
Venezuela recently gave workers an extra three days off for the Easter holiday, saving nearly 22 centimeters of water at Guri Dam in Bolivar, which supplies the majority of the electricity in the country’s capital of Caracas.
Though it is not clear if the temporary three-day weekend will extend to private sector workers as well as the public sector, the country will face shutting down the water plant if the water level drops below 240 meters above sea level in order to avoid turbine damage, which would result in increased rationing. Right now, the water level is about 243 meters, according to President Maduro.