What the people say about…
Interviews and photos by David Papannah
This week we spoke to residents in the vicinity of the Port Mourant market square on the blackouts that have been recently affecting Berbice.
Kumarie Persaud, self-employed: ‘The blackout affect us a lot because I have a business and when there is no current in the nights I have to close up the shop very early, because you never know what can happen and since all these robberies happening, you have to be afraid plus you cannot do any business at all when the place is extremely dark. Another problem also is that you have to worry if your fresh meat that is in the freezer would spoil, sometimes when it spoil you have to throw away it and you loss you money just because there was no current’.
Sandra Chandine, self-employed: ‘When there is blackout in the nights my children cannot do any homework or any studying for school because the blackout last for a good time and when it do return the children are already asleep. Also when there is no current we cannot have any access to water, the pipe do not run and sometimes we don’t get any water at all for a day. You have to buy water to use. The blackout also gets you a bit scared because you have to worry if thieves would come in your house’.
Shavtoon Azeez, Vendor: ‘This blackout affects us really bad, when you come to the market in the early mornings especially on Saturday there is no light in the market because of blackout. This blackout also makes me lose on business because some of my goods spoil and customers do not want to buy like they use to because they are afraid what they buy would spoil on them also and with this steady blackout a [great deal] of my products spoil. Also whatever products you have in the refrigerator spoils because the current does not return until hours later.‘
Leslie Albert, Farmer: ‘The on and off blackout does not allow me to have water, because as soon as the power gone off the pipe stops running and when the current returns the pipe does not come on back. I have to buy water to cook and drink. My livestock and garden does also be affected, with the heat. During the days I have to be giving the plants water about three times a day and the same thing for the animals and sometimes you do not have water to give them because pipe don’t run and the trenches are empty. Another thing with the blackout is when you have food and meat for a later use it spoils and you have to throw it away. This on and off blackout makes us suffer a whole lot. The blackout does not even allow you to relax properly because if you say you are going and watch a movie you cannot because there is blackout.’
Dwarka Persaud, businessman: ‘The blackout always affects us. I am doing a business and we can’t get to do a proper business like we suppose to, because of the blackout. When there is blackout in the night we have to close up early and have to fear for bandits. The long hours of blackout also spoil some foodstuffs that are in the freezer. Water is very important and we cannot get to use any water because of this blackout.’
Joel, student: ‘I cannot get to do my homework and study at nights and test is coming up. I cannot get to use the computer to do any research for my school work also. In school when there is blackout the teacher cannot teach because the classroom is extremely dark and we cannot see what the teacher is teaching.’
Tiffany Blake, student: ‘I am in a CSEC class at school and the blackout situation is affecting us a lot because we have to finish our school- based assignments and with the on and off blackout I cannot get to finish. I cannot even get to study properly because while you are studying blackout comes on and you have to stop studying or you have to study with lamps. And whilst pressing your uniform for school blackout comes on and your uniform is not finished pressing. Also if you try to look at the news to keep up to date with what is going on in the country you can’t because the current is off and you cannot do so.’
Trevor Griffith, self-employed: ‘This blackout is really disgusting especially in the night. When there is blackout in the night the place is really dark and you have to worry if any thieves would attack you or not because there is so much robbery occurring now you do not know what to do. I have a shop and when there is blackout in the evenings I have to close up the shop early because I cannot do business. I also lose at times when some products that need refrigeration spoil and I have to throw away’.
Kamille Persaud, vendor: ‘The blackout affects me greatly especially with my business. I sell foreign products like apple, broccoli, grape and cauliflower and these products need current to keep them fresh and also for them to stay and with the blackout so steady I often have to throwaway many of it because it spoils, especially when the current takes long to come on. My daughter also suffers from the blackout and she would be writing exams very soon and when the current is off she cannot complete her homework or do any studying because the blackout lasts for a long time.’
Sukhai, farmer: ‘This blackout is very terrible because when the current goes on and off steady our appliances get burn and damage and we have to spend our money and get our appliances repaired or buy a new one and we do not receive any refund from GPL. I am a poultry farmer rearing layers chicken and these chickens needs a lot of lighting and when the current goes off these chicken suffer. Another thing is the water, while there is blackout during the day and the pipe is running it cuts off. We do not have water to use and this is really bad for the people in Berbice.’