Lethem power woes cripples water supply

-residents incensed

With no relief a week after a generator failed, Lethem residents now have to cope with a crippled water supply, with reports out of the border town saying that some residents have resorted to purchasing water.

The power and water woes have left many residents angry, particularly since they have been calling for relief and long term plans for years.  President of the Rupununi Chamber of Commerce and Indus-try (RCCI), Jacqueline D’Aguiar told Stabroek News that a new part for the crippled generator is now expected today and they hope that a normal electricity supply will be restored.

Since last Monday, residents of Lethem and neighbouring villages have been experiencing power outages as one of the generators of the Lethem Power Company failed, leaving residents with just a daily five hour-supply of electricity. The disruption was the latest to hit the community after a bolt from one of the generators was damaged.

On Monday, Lethem was left without electricity during the course of the afternoon only to have a limited supply of power later in the night. From then onwards, power has been sporadically distributed to it and neighbouring villages.

As a result of the ongoing electricity problems, the water supply to villages was also disrupted as immediately after power is cut off, the water goes too.

During the course of last month, this newspaper had reported that after the failure of the main generating set about two months ago, the growing town was being powered by two smaller generators. But the community experienced constant blackouts, since these generators could not cope with the demands of the town.

One resident had told Stabroek News that the damaged part of the generator which was returned from the city on Saturday had to be sent back since it could not work.

D’Aguiar said yesterday that some residents depended solely on water from the pipes and they are severely affected since water has not been pumped since the generator was damaged. She said that other residents were getting water from private wells. There were also reports that water was being sold.

The RCCI president said that a meeting was held last week with officials from the Guyana Water Inc and residents pleaded for a water supply system which is separated from the LPC. Given the situation, the utility was supposed to be delivering water to the hospital and the school, she said. She noted that the utility had already been experiencing some issues and had been using another resident’s well to supply water in addition to using a smaller pump which could not serve all areas.

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