Residents protest as constant power cuts leave Kwakwani in the dark

Residents of Kwakwani march through the community with their placards during the protest yesterday morning.

Dozens of Kwakwani residents braved the searing heat yesterday morning to protest the inconsistent supply of power they have had to endure for months.

They are calling on the authorities to pay attention to their plight and said they are prepared to continue their protest action until something is done.

According to information reaching Stabroek News, about 30 residents from the small Berbice River community marched to the Kwakwani Utilities Incorporated (KUI) office and, with placards, protested for more than three hours.

A resident of Kwakwani with his placard, protested outside the Kwakwani Utilities Inc office yesterday.

Speaking to Stabroek News, Charles Tom, a resident, said that the community has been enduring more than eight hours of power outages per day for the past three months. This also affects their water supply.

“We getting blackout about eight hours every day and we getting water problems because when you get blackout, you not getting water and when the current come on, people can’t pump because the water not there,” Tom explained. He said the situation has been ongoing for over three months and seems to be worsening. 

Stabroek News tried to contact KUI and the Regional Democratic Council but was unable to reach the relevant persons.

According to Tom, the residents’ frustration reached its peak and it has forced them to take matters into their own hands, hence the protest. He declared that the action will continue throughout next week until they are provided with answers regarding the situation.

“The thing is we just want someone to tell us what is happening and how we can get around it but nobody turning up to tell we. We had a meeting last week where we invited the directors and General Manager from the KUI and they did not turn up at the meeting so everyone got fed up and we started pro-testing,” Tom explained.

In addition to the lack of a constant water supply due to the persistent power outages, Tom also explained that residents have been suffering since they are unable to properly store their meat and their children are unable to properly focus on their school work.

“It’s terrible, terrible. People equipment damage, people losing food stuff. Children can’t study and wives who have to prepare meals early in the morning have no current to see what’s properly going on. Normally it used to be from 5 in the morning to 10 midday and then from 4 [pm] to 6 [pm] but now it happening all the time and just randomly,” Tom said. 

Another resident explained that she has lost thousands of dollars in meat due to the inconsistent power supply. “You never know when it coming and how long it’s going to stay off for and that does mess up everything. You buy meat and say you going to keep it in the fridge for a few hours to get lil hard and the light don’t even last that long so now you either cook it or it will spoil. That’s how it is every day. We don’t know what’s happening and everybody keeping we in the dark,” the woman explained.

Tom said all they are asking from the relevant authorities, and the government by extension, is for someone to attend a meeting with members of the community to shed some light on the situation and what they should expect. The man asserted that residents are willing to assist in whatever way they can to rectify the situation but they cannot make any progress unless the same effort is being made by the utility company and the relevant authorities.  

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