Countries that fail to invest in modern power grids know what disastrous effects a power interruption can have on their commercial interests and businesses. Some power interruptions may be for only an hour or two, though large scale blackouts may last for several days, with the ultimate effect of putting a given area's businesses into a state of utter chaos. Although modern power grids have better technology than those of the past, they remain prone to a uniquely modern set of problems. There are no exceptions in the threat of power interruptions, from the most advanced countries to developing ones. The causes can range from a lack of investment in power grid improvements, to cyber attacks, solar flares, and terrorism. Natural disasters and weather can both also affect modern setups as well as antiquated ones. As much of the developing world does not have access to the latest technologies to improve their respective utilities' infrastructures, they are also where economies suffer the largest relative losses due to power outages. This becomes evident as one reviews those vulnerable countries listed below.
10. Afghanistan (9.6% of sales value lost)
Afghanistan sees about 9.6% of its sales value being lost due to power outage damages. The country has recently suffered from power blackouts due to Taliban saboteurs' cutting of power lines. The blame was also due to rickety infrastructure. Repairs to damaged towers were also being delayed due to lack of materials. Less than 40% of the population is connected to the power grid but businesses across the boards still feel the sales losses as they evaluate their respective revenues.
9. Uganda (11.2% of sales value lost)
Uganda has experienced about 11.2% of sales values being lost to power outages recently. Uganda has several power sources, such as biomass, charcoal, and hydropower. However, poor maintenance of this infrastructure over the past decades and low water levels have combined to contribute to Ugandan power blackouts. Uganda's utility company explained that the blackouts were due to planned maintenance. Other reasons given were technical faults caused by vandalism of its equipment.
8. Madagascar (13.6% of sales value lost)
Madagascar has experienced about 13.6% of sales values lost to power outages recently. The country has been hit hard as of late by power interruptions that have afflicted its small businesses particularly hard. In 2014, riots occurred due to blackouts in its chief seaport in Toamasina. Demonstrations were also held against the power blackouts. There have even been attempts by local protesters to attack the local utilities companies.
7. South Sudan (13.6% of sales value lost)
South Sudan experiences about 13.6% of sales values being lost due to power outage damages. The country has recently been plagued by power outages due to lack of fuel caused by fuel shortages. There are only six generator sets that provide power to the capital city of Juba. Even the hospitals there have been significantly affected. Such an irregular power supply has often been the case since the nation split from Sudan to the north.
6. Tanzania (15.1% of sales value lost)
Tanzania experiences about 15.1% of its sales values lost due to power outage damages. Tanzania's utility firm, Tanesco, has recently been upgrading its grid to facilitate more power and reaching more customers, but the unintended results have come in the form of rolling blackouts that havs lasted for over a month. Customers have complained that they were not updated on these crises. Another factor is the all too often low water levels in the country's hydroelectric dams.
5. Nigeria (15.6% of sales value lost)
Nigeria experiences about 15.6% of sales value being lost due to power outage damages. Nigerian power outages cause businesses in the country untold amounts of money across the board, though those the worse affected are hospitals and mining concerns. Regarding the latter, Nigerian miners at times will become trapped inside the mines. Although only about 40% of Nigerians are connected to the power grid, outages still affect almost everyone in the nation in some shape or form.
4. Ghana (15.8% of sales value lost)
Ghana has power outages that take about 15.8% of sales value away from its business community. Ghana's frequent power outages are largely caused by its national utilities infrastructure's power shortages as a whole. It also has seen rolling blackouts, many of which may last for 12 hours. As Ghana's main power requirements are supplied by a hydroelectric dam, water level drops also may cause power shortages. These power outages have forced the hand of many Ghanaian companies to shut down in the wake of losing millions of dollars. It also affected hospitals and refrigeration-dependant businesses.
3. Nepal (17.0% of sales value lost)
Nepal suffers from frequent power outages, and these have taken about 17.0% of sales value away from its businesses in the last several years. Recently, Nepal suffered several earthquakes that really took a toll on its power grid. The Nepalese restaurant and grocery business community also has exhibited especially significant losses in sales and products due to no power being available to their refrigeration systems for long stints of time.
2. Yemen (19.7% of sales value lost)
Yemen also has power outages, and these take about 19.7% of sales value away from businesses in the country. The country has been beset by power outages lately that have seen many Yemenis investing in generator sets. This has been so bad that some businesses have lost significant amounts of money, and some have even been forced to shut down their operations totally.
1. Pakistan (33.8% of sales value lost)
Pakistan experiences a loss of about 33.8% of its sales value due to power outage damages. Pakistan experienced rolling blackouts en masse from 2008 through 2016, many lasting up to 3 hours a day or longer. These blackouts are typically longer in the summer months. PEPCO, the country's leading power-providing company, has been experiencing the bulk of these power shortages . Businesses in Pakistan report losses of up to hundreds of millions of rupees daily due to such events.