Mahdia residents protest for resumption of 24-hr power supply

Although they staged a protest on Saturday to bemoan being supplied with only 12 hours of power per day, Mahdia residents are no closer to an improvement as they were told that the timeframe will remain but they can choose whether it’s a.m. or p.m.

“We come out, we shout, we protest, we stop the manager and ask he fuh tell me something how we gon solve this problem and were told that (there is) nothing he could do… it’s the amount of fuel he get that’s how the system work out we either take it morning or night time”, a resident and businessman `Joe’ (who asked that only that name be used), told Stabroek News yesterday afternoon.

Residents said that taking to the streets to highlight their plight seemed the only way their voices would be heard but they are  frustrated that even after this act there had been no word from officials on rectifying the problem.

Yesterday, a special meeting of the Mahdia Regional Democratic Council was held to discuss the problem. There, members agreed that they would write to Prime Minister Samuel Hinds asking him to revisit the district as he had promised that problems would be resolved.

“We have had no official word from anyone in authority. We want to meet the Prime Minister again because we were told a feasibility study was done, we will get 24 hours power and the company would make a profit and all will be well.

Now that that has changed and we hearing this, that and the other. No! We wont take it we need answers we need lights”, a member of the RDC said.

Efforts to contact Mahdia Power and Light officials proved futile yesterday and calls to the  Regional Chairman went unanswered.

Businessman `Joe’ said that about two months ago the mining community began receiving time-tabled power beginning from 6am to 6pm. He said that like him many other businesses are “feeling the squeeze” because they are not able to store the amount of rations needed to be sold.

Further, he said that for persons using their own generators it is not feasible as fuel prices have nearly quadrupled in the mining district which in turn has caused shop owners to raise their already high prices.

Alliance For Change member of Parliament Ulla Marcello told Stabroek News that she was on the picket line on Saturday and most residents were dissatisfied with their supply.

She said that residents complained of getting only 12 hours of power but were paying sums equivalent to when they were receiving 24 hours.

Marcello informed that an explanation was given that there are two fully functional generators, one large and one small, at the company. She said that the manager said that the amount of fuel allocated to them could not facilitate both generators working 24 hours as such they designed the current “on and off” system.

She said that she was told by the manager that when the fuel subsidy is enough to meet the demand, power will be restored round the clock.

Until then residents will stay with their current power schedule as they say blackouts all night will leave an already desolate area “worse off” and may contribute to night crimes.

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