… Residents of charity now skipping baths
The frustrated and depressed residents of the Essequibo Coast yesterday had an opportunity to meet with officials of the Guyana Power and Light (GPL). The meeting follows a series of blackouts that continues to plague the
northern end of the Coast.
Present at the meeting were officials representing the Regional Democratic Council, Regional Director of GPL, Nigel Belfield, deputy CEO of technical Department GPL, Elwyn Marshall, and other stakeholders of the business communities.
Chairman of the Regional Democratic Council, Daveanand Ramdatt, expected frank and honest discussions. His expectations however were short-lived as distressed residents were eager to unleash their burning concerns to the officials of GPL.
Ever so anxious were the residents of Charity, who were exposed to the blackouts. For the past eight days residents living in the Charity had no electricity. As a result the GWI pump station in Charity was unable to supply water to residents living in the area.
The Chairman on the other hand is concerned and disappointed that timely information was not provided and the methodology used by G.P.L. was prudent. “Charity is the most affected; as indicated to GPL we have numerous problems. We would like to have clear and sincere comments from G.P.L. that point us in a direction so we can see what’s in store.
“The R.D.C recognized that Region Two needs to be more vocal in representing itself, though quietness cannot be continued, descent efforts must still be made.”
Chief Executive Officer- Technical, Elwyn Marshal, said that G.P.L. offers apology for the unreliable supply of current. Marshall said the power outage is due to loss of power in two major units. In no circumstance could the units be maintained to offer reliable service.
Marshall said that the Company has formulated a plan to minimize the periods of Blackout experienced throughout the northern section of the region.
“The Essequibo Coast has two sequences of power. Two years ago a south system was established temporarily in Fairfield. Our plan is to relocate the set in Southfield to Anna Regina. This in turn would result in less load for the Anna Regina generator sets. At the same time persons on the south will not experience power outages.”
One of the major concern that still remained however was the situation at Charity. Marshall added, “We plan not to feed villages between charity and Anna Regina so that Charity can have some current for at least 12hrs. We are now fixing our equipments and have spare parts the technicians. If all goes well by Saturday the flow of electricity on the Coast should be reverted to a state of normalcy.” The units at the Anna Regina PowerStation are old and worn-out. . Unit number one currently has an alternator failure, Marshall said that technicians were shipped in from Miami to repair get repairs done. “We are sure that the set would be operational by tomorrow evening.” G.P.L. has paid to acquire three new units with 5.1 megawatts, the new units are expected to be commissioned by late October.
Residents believe that the people of the Essequibo Coast are treated unfairly and continue to be left neglected by the power company.
“Fishermen can’t go to sea because there’s no ice to preserve their catch. Losses due to a lack of communication were subsequently reported.
President of the Essequibo Chamber of Commerce, Deleep Singh, said that the service provided by G.P.L. is grossly inadequate.
He added, “Those two engines have lost both their lives for quite a long time now, years. The northern part of the Essequibo Coast contributes 75% to the Region’s economic activity. The people of Charity are poor and ordinary people, still the Hospital is out of water and communication linking us to the world is still down.
“We don’t give G.P.L. problem; G.P.L. gives us problems. We pay our bills and we expect better. A lot of families can’t get water to do domestic work more so have a bath. We have meat and vegetable that we had to throw away.”
The RDC is seeking to make arrangements to have water tanks put in place to supply residents if water is not back on as soon as possible.
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