Lethem residents await normal power supply

The power supply to residents of Lethem is expected to be back to normal from today, provided that the part needed to fix a malfunctioning generator is ready to be used on the engine.

As of yesterday, residents were still receiving power in shifts and they expressed their frustration with the longstanding power problem.

The engine on the generator went down on Sunday after the “exciter winding” on the engine started to “short,” a source close to the Linden Power Company (LPC) said yesterday. The defective part has since been sent to Georgetown for repair and is expected to be finished by today. Once the generator is back in operation, the power situation should be back to normal as of today, the source added.

After the main generator went down, a smaller generator, which does not have the capacity to power the community, was pressed into service.

A Central Lethem resident related to Stabroek News yesterday that the community is receiving power in two five-hour shifts per day since Sunday. He said that on Sunday evening, he heard a loud explosion at the LPC and shortly after the power went off.

The resident also stated that persons in Lethem were never informed of the situation by the LPC or the schedule for when power will be on or off. He said, “I give them a z for public relations.”

Another resident told this newspaper via telephone that he has gotten accustomed to the power outages that have been occurring and he plans to buy a generator to supply his power needs.

Lethem has suffered from chronic power problems over the past several years. However, by the end of the year, two new generators should be installed to boost the power supply in the growing border township and a new facility will be constructed to replace the current flood-prone Lethem Power Company office.

The new generators along with the three currently in Lethem will be able to produce over two megawatts of power – way above the current consumption of half megawatt of electricity by the town, President of the Rupununi Chamber of Commerce (RCCI), Daniel Gajie had told Stabroek News. He said that Prime Minister Samuel Hinds made the disclosure in May during a visit to Lethem.

Meanwhile, a Tabatinga resident said that he has observed that the power outages always begin on weekends when there is poor supervision at the LPC.  But when asked about this, the source stated that that the engines are serviced on weekends and when this is done all supervisors are present.

The upset resident also said that the interrupted 10 hour power serves him “no purpose” because “by the time the 5 hour up, the fridge ain’t freeze yet. You can’t buy anything to put in the fridge.” The frustrated man also suggested that the LPC should cease operations because it is failing to meet the needs of residents.

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