RESIDENTS of Bartica are in distress and reeling from financial losses through constant power outages and load-shedding for about a week now.Speaking with this publication, Mayor Gifford Marshall expressed annoyance over the situation in the mining town.
“We experienced constant blackouts and load-shedding for a period of six months earlier in the year; however, the issue was resolved two weeks ago. Until recent, we have been receiving eight hours of power every day.”
Marshall further explained that the situation is a very uncomfortable one, and is causing much psychological and emotional distress for the town.
“We need the Ministry of Public Infrastructure to investigate this situation immediately; something must be done immediately to avoid it,” Marshall declared.
According to the mayor, a number of persons have suffered great losses in their businesses and concerns are stirring about whether Guyana Power and Light (GPL) will reimburse them.
Marshall said, “Despite complaints have been made to the GPL office, the company is giving little to no satisfaction to the residents. And they (GPL) have been carrying out daily operations within the town as it relates to disconnection and removal of meters.”
The mayor explained that he was made to understand that the new generator which the town had recently received was not in operation.
“The generator in First Avenue was down for the week, they said that Macorp is supposed to check it at [the] earliest.”
Marshall said that the matter is very distressful and the residents are becoming quite impatient.
“The blackouts in Bartica have been ongoing for over a decade and it’s causing a major distress. We are concerned about whether we will continue to experience blackout for the Christmas period as well. We are calling on the Ministry of Public Infrastructure to intervene immediately.”
On September 15, Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson announced that a generator set from the Onverwagt power station in West Berbice was due to arrive in Bartica on September 17. This is expected to boost power generation in the Region Seven community.
Over time, the Bartica township has been plagued with frequent power outages due to damage caused to two of the three power engines serving the town and its environs, forcing the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) to conduct scheduled outages.