Blackouts getting worse in Essequibo

Dear Editor,

It seems to me the more things change, the more they are getting worse. The blackouts have once again come back to haunt Essequibians. On the campaign trail it was touted that there will be no more blackouts, but instead of no more blackouts, there are more and more blackouts. We in Essequibo are sick, tired and fed up with these day and night power disruptions. Who are we going to complain to about the damage done to our equipment?  For today alone we had over 15 sudden blackouts lasting for hours in total; we cannot do our work when the day comes, and we cannot sleep at night.

The place is terribly hot and we have become watchmen until the lights come on. We fear for our lives because of thieves and criminals. Our houses are being targeted, and periodically placed under siege. The business leaders displayed tremendous courage in standing firm against the sudden power outages, taking initiatives to carry on their businesses at a loss. It seems to me as though GPL wants to shut down the government and the country.

The head of GPL is silent on these constant blackouts although the Prime Minister asked for a report. Some hitherto prominent backers have come around to the position, however reluctantly, that Guyana should live with the blackouts until a solution can be found.

The government should take note: people are beginning to lose faith in it. For me, the indications are that the economy is slowing down as a result of these prolonged blackouts. The question is what are the government and GPL doing in terms of dealing on a long term basis with this power outage situation and the security issue? It is evident that in the face of tremendous challenges ahead and continuously rising expectations, that Guyana is in for a long haul. Rough times are ahead for this government, if things continue  like this. It is 18 months since the coalition has been in office; we have seen changes is some areas, but in other areas nothing significant has happened to bolster the people’s confidence to vote for them in 2020.

On Saturday, November 26, I left my home at Anna Regina at about 3 in the morning heading towards the Good Hope ferry stelling. As I approached the beginning of Good Hope, the whole village was in total darkness. As I turned in towards the stelling with my car I saw the compound in darkness; tickets had to be sold with a torchlight. Vilvoorden to Supenaam had not had blackouts since two caterpillar engines were placed there in 2011; this is something new and needs to be addressed. Commuters who are travelling with the ferry and have to wait in the dark stelling compound can get robbed by bandits.

The Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson has had significant achievements after inheriting two wrecked Wartsila engines at Anna Regina power station.With prudent management Guyana can prosper and survive the blackouts if we get our programmes and policies right.

Yours faithfully,

Mohamed Khan

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