NASSAU, BAHAMAS — While Bahamas Power and Light has decided to suspend disconnections until month’s end, a Chamber of Commerce representative called for greater leniency given the widespread economic fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Debbie Deal, head of the Chamber’s energy and environment committee said: “I do understand that they don’t have money but many people don’t at this time. Look at what NIB is doing.
“NIB is doing everything they possibly can to get contributions to people as quickly as they can to make sure the country doesn’t implode. The government is doing some things to ensure people stay above water. Many people are out of a job today.”
“This is a global crisis,” Deal said.
“I find it annoying but you’re sending out notices that people can go in and pay and that they are postponing disconnections until the end of the month which is literally just days away. It’s poor timing.
“Could you imagine sitting at home with no money, no job, very little food, you can’t go anywhere and your electricity is off?”
The fall-out from the COVID-19 crisis has set in for the hotel and tourism sector with restrictions on US travel impacting hotel bookings as well as the cruise industry and other stakeholders reliant on tourism dollars.
Further, the government imposed COVID-19 restrictions has resulted in many businesses not considered ‘essential’ having to temporarily shutdown and furlough workers.
“Every hotel, every business, every construction site is being affected. People don’t have money coming in,” Deal said.
“They are going to resume disconnections next month, well go ahead. See how that is going to work out. I haven’t seen Cable Bahamas, BTC or any other utility put out notice about disconnections. That’s sad. They have to look at the bigger picture.
“Everyone is bending over backwards to try and get through this situation.”