Expensive heaters increase people’s suffering in Southern Syria

تحرير أمنة رياض | ترجمة محمد غيث | تحرير الترجمة Vera Halvorsen 🕔 تم النشر بتاريخ : 15 نوفمبر، 2018 1:42:44 ص خبر أعمال واقتصاداجتماعي اقتصادي

Turkey - SMART

People in Southern Syria are no longer busy searching for fuel, but instead concerned with obtaining the cheapest and most suitable heater, amid a significant increase in the price of heaters compared to most families’ limited income.

Qais, a resident of the city of Jasim in Daraa, Southern Syria, said that different kinds of heaters are available, some of which need diesel and others that need gas or wood. Qais added that most of the heaters are made in local markets, noting that the diesel heaters are the best.

Qais added that the price of heaters in the markets of Daraa ranges between 12,000 and 75,000 Syrian pounds ($23-145) depending on the heater’s type and size. Qais noted that traders and shop owners increase the prices to match the demand.

Qais attributed the increase to the greed of some traders and the high prices of heaters from the factory and cost of transporting them to consumers. Qais added, “Heaters are still a dream for many families.”

Loai, a resident of the city of Nawa in Daraa, expressed his shock at the expensive heaters, saying, “I can afford a heater, but its price still shocks me.” Loai added that he thinks it is important to have a heater, even if one is forced to borrow money to pay for it.”

Loai said that there are many kinds of heaters, but providing money for fuel remains the biggest problem for him. Loai prefers diesel heaters because diesel is always available in Nawa.

A forcibly displaced person from Eastern Ghouta, who introduced himself as Baraa Abu al-Yusr, said that people in Ghouta depend on power generated by household generators amidst the high prices of heaters, lack of diesel, power cuts, and the Syrian government’s delay in repairing power networks. Abu al-Yusr is still well-informed about the situation in Ghouta despite living in Northern Syria now.

Abu al-Yusr added that those who own household generators sell power for 400 SYP ($0.8) per kilowatt, and that the diesel, if available, is sold at 250 SYP ($0.5) per liter. Abu al-Yusr added that the price of heaters depends on their size, saying that the small heaters are 27,000 SYP ($52), the medium heaters are 46,000 SYP ($90), and the big heaters are 110,000 SYP ($213).

Abu al-Yusr concluded, “Eight months after I went to Northern Syria, the residents of Ghouta who remained there have not seen any changes except for the appearance of Bashar al-Assad’s photos and raising of the Syrian government flag.”

An owner of a heater store in al-Suwayda, who introduced himself as Abu al-Ward, said that the prices of new heaters range between 13,000 SYP ($25) and 100,000 SYP ($194), whereas the price of secondhand heaters ranges between 5,000 ($10) and 50,000 SYP ($97). Abu al-Ward attributed the high prices of heaters to the increased exchange rate between the US dollar and the Syrian pound.

Abu al-Ward added, “The best heaters are the ones that range between 80,000 ($155) and 100,000 SYP ($194) as they depend on fuel, power, and pumps that provide warm air all over the house.”

Abu al-Ward added that he cannot afford the new type of heaters, but wood and gas heaters are alternative solutions instead of diesel heaters. Abu al-Ward noted that the residents struggle not only to buy heaters, but also to keep them running, which could cost 10,000 SYP ($20).

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تحرير أمنة رياض | ترجمة محمد غيث | تحرير الترجمة Vera Halvorsen 🕔 تم النشر بتاريخ : 15 نوفمبر، 2018 1:42:44 ص خبر أعمال واقتصاداجتماعي اقتصادي
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