The rationing of electricity by Mahdia Power and Light (MPL) is causing lots of discomfort and suffering for the residents here. In my opinion it is totally unacceptable to ration electricity from 12 to 24 hours.
The business community is severely affected since they have to find an additional source of electricity to preserve their perishable goods, even as they are prepare to pay their electricity bills. Worst off are the schoolchildren. The schools are very hot, especially the primary school with the exception of the extension to the school.
This school was built without any ventilation at the top, which makes it very hot during the daytime. Without fans these schools are more like concentration camps than learning institutions. The schools also need electricity to access potable water, because they do not access water from the Salbura water system, since it is faulty.
The school is receiving water from a well that a businessman, Mr Roger Hinds, has drilled, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him on behalf of the residents here and myself for this kind gesture. In order for the school to receive water from this well for drinking, washing, and flushing the toilet the electrical pump has to be functioning, and since there is no electricity during school hours one can just imagine what the children are going through.
Also those children who need to access the internet cannot do that during school hours.
Editor while the children are suffering being without water, without fans and with no access to the internet, the Regional Administration has the luxury of a standby generator that they put on when the power goes out in the morning to power the building, allowing the REO and staff to work in air-conditioned rooms and have internet access all day long.
I was told that this standby generator could supply electricity to all the government buildings and the schools; it is not even providing current to the nearby Regional Democratic Council building in which the Regional Chairman’s office is located and where RDC statutory meetings are held.
I also learned that the Regional Administration has not paid any electricity bills to the power company for the year and owe a very large sum.
I believe that the money they are spending to buy fuel to run their standby generator could be paid to the power company, which in my opinion would not only make economic sense, but would reduce the hours electricity has to be rationed.
Also, I believe with the amount of revenue that is being collected by the government from gold, diamonds, timber, etc, in Region 8, they should assist the MPL. A subvention equivalent to the cash flow deficit the company is facing would allow the power company to provide Mahdia with a 24-hour electricity supply until it becomes more viable.
It must be noted that in 2012 the government collected revenue from over 76,000 oz of gold from mining district 2 (Potaro).
Oswald Timothy Junor
Regional Democratic Councillor