Berbice rocked by power outages
Last weekend, a spate of lengthy power outages rocked East Berbice. The situation developed late last week Friday afternoon after major problems were experienced at Guyana Power and Light’s Canefield Power Station in East Canje.
Several areas along East Bank Berbice, New Amsterdam, Canje and the lower Corentyne were plunged into darkness from about 16:30hrs.
Only Canje and New Amsterdam were re- energized around 23:00hrs that night. The other areas were left without power for about 36 hours.
More blackouts developed on Saturday, with almost half of the region being plunged into darkness. On Saturday evening, (October 30), persons living in Edinburgh on the East Bank of Berbice, said that they had been without power for more than a day and wondered when they would be getting back electricity.
One man said that most of the meat and fish in his fridge had spoiled since there was no power since Friday afternoon.
On Saturday evening, the crisis continued with much of East Berbice being in darkness. Power finally returned to all areas affected early Sunday morning. Residents of East Bank Berbice and Corentyne had received electricity after being without the precious commodity for about 36 hours.
Regional Operations Manager of GPL, Ayube Bacchus, said that there was a major problem that developed with a switch gear and a bus bar.
He noted how important a component the switch gear was and how necessary it was for the technicians and mechanics at Canefield not to hurry and repair the component and risk another breakdown, which could have had disastrous consequences on the generators at Canefield Power Station.
Bacchus stated that as a result of the problem, limited power was being generated for the Berbice system, most of which was being sent to the essential areas, like hospitals and police stations, as the company would normally do during a power crisis.
He noted that the mechanics were able to deal with the problem and were successful on Sunday when generation returned to normalcy to the region.
When asked if the company could have informed the general public about the matter, he said that a press release was sent but most persons could not have got access to the release. He noted that the areas affected were all connected to the bus bar, thus those were the areas mostly affected by the outages.
The situation has since normalized and that the company has enough power to satisfy current demands and also has sufficient generation for the upcoming festive season, he assured.
But many businesses in New Amsterdam complained at length over the losses that had accrued due to the outages.
According to one businessman, he found it very hard to spend lots of money to purchase gasoline for his generator, just to keep his business up and running.
Residents of East Canje expressed their outrage at the company’s continued inability to provide affordable and reliable electricity to the citizens of Guyana. One resident in Cumberland stated that whenever there is power outage in the East Canje area, there is no water.
The outages had left residents of the area without potable water for two days— Friday and Saturday.