Venezuela has adopted a two-day working week for government employees to save electricity, according to media reports.
The extreme step is a response to a severe drought that has dried up the main reservoir in the South American nation which depends on it for energy.
The reduced workweek will extend throughout May.
“Venezuela has suffered three years of severe drought—the most intense in the last 40 years—which forces us to make this series of measures,” Aristobulo Isturiz, Venezuela’s executive vice-president, was quoted by the media as saying.
The country has deployed a permanent team to the state-owned hydroelectric power plant which has significantly reduced production due to dwindled water resources.
The Guri, the country’s largest reservoir and one of the continent’s most important hydroelectric plants, is at a critical juncture, with water level just 1.60 metres above the point at which the dam will collapse, news reports say.
President Nicolas Maduro has requested international help to deal with the effects of the drought. According to the media, he said Venezuela had been badly hit by the El Nino phenomenon and would return to normal when it started raining again. The energy-saving measures ration out electricity for four hours for a total of 40 days.
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