Cambodia electricity shortage cripples small businesses

It’s hot and humid in KT Beauty, a salon owned by Morn Sokunthea. The red-and-black chairs are empty. The fans don’t work and neither do the lights. Thirty eight-year-old Sokunthea hasn’t seen a single customer today, and she doesn’t expect that to change soon.

“Without electricity I can’t even blow-dry hair after washing it,” she says. “Doing make-up doesn’t work either because with this heat, and without a fan, my customers will get sweaty and the make-up will slide off.”

Sokunthea is one of the many small business owners in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, who have experienced the impact of an ongoing electricity crisis. For nearly a month, Cambodia’s electricity supplier, Electricite Du Cambodge (EDC), has stopped supplying power to large parts of the country, saying it was unable to meet the high demand.

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