Impact of Energy Crisis on Subjective Wellbeing: Case Study of a Pakistani Town

Article Title: Impact of Energy Crisis on Subjective Wellbeing: Case Study of a Pakistani Town

Author(s): Noor-ul Ann, Shabbir Rana and Waqar Husain

Institute(s): Government College University, Lahore; Government MAO College, Lahore; COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad.

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 2015, Vol. 13, No.2, 60-66

Correspondence Address: Noor Ul Ann, Lecturer of Psychology in Foundation University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan; E-mail:


Power cuts have always been a part of everyday life in Pakistan. The problem of power cuts has progressively become unmanageable. Despite serious challenges and threats posed by the current shortfall in the supply of energy, there are only a limited number of studies addressing the economic ramifications of Pakistan’s energy crisis, while literature on the psychosocial fallouts of the same is almost non-existent. The present study explored the impact of erratic supply of electricity and gas on the subjective wellbeing of a low income group, and explained the coping strategies these citizens employed to sustain their livelihood. Twenty laborers from Liaquat-abad, a small town in Lahore, Pakistan were interviewed using semi-structured interview guide. Data was analyzed using content analysis. The findings of the study showed that unscheduled and excessive load shedding of electricity and gas inflicted exorbitant costs at macro and micro level. Along with dire economic consequences, power shutdowns adversely impacted workers’ quality of life. It was also found that to deal with everyday hassles and stressors caused by the energy outages the laborers employed both positive and negative coping strategies. Adoption of negative coping behaviors was deleterious to their overall wellbeing. The most striking finding of the research, however, was that despite the hardships imposed upon them, these laborers exhibited impressive level of resilience. The findings of the study intend to illustrate gravity of the situation to the concerned authorities and consequently impress upon them the need to boost efforts being made to reduce the present demand-supply gap.

Keywords: Energy Crisis, Economic Crisis, Labouring Class, Subjective Wellbeing, Coping Strategies

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