Western NP residents outraged after being left in the dark

Western NP residents outraged after being left in the dark

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Lila Rose, a resident of western New Providence, believes if the existing board and management team at Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) do not have the ability to keep the power on, they should be replaced.

Rose, 40, said she was baking on Friday night when her home was plunged into darkness.

It was the second time in two days that she was forced to go without power for hours.

“If this present management [team] came on board to address the issues being fully aware of what it would be faced with, and now… they still have not come up with a viable solution that gives any kind of temporary relief to the public in the interim — until they are able to fully address the overall bigger issues — then why are they still in place?” Rose asked.

She added, “If this company doesn’t have the answers then let someone else manage it.”

BPL advised Wednesday that customers in Westridge would have their supply interrupted between 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

However, scores of customers reported going without power for over an hour on Thursday night and more than three hours on Friday night.

In a statement released Friday around 9:20 p.m., BPL said areas of western and southwestern New Providence were interrupted due to a “fault [in] supply”.

At the time, it said power had been restored to parts of Cable Beach.

BPL apologized for the inconvenience.

Rose bemoaned the vague explanation from BPL.

She said, “Outages are usually blamed on stress on the network, but come on, probably one to five per cent of the population is using air conditioning at this time.”

According to Rose, apologies are no longer good enough.

“It’s like the public is held hostage without recourse,” she said, noting that past attempts to get compensation, including formally complaining to BPL’s regulator have been a waste of time.

“But realistically is BPL listening to the many complaints of the public?

Andrew Wells, another resident of the area, said he was outraged with BPL’s “level of incompetence”.

The power outages on Friday evening resulted in an uninterruptible power supply failing in his home.

He said he has lost all faith in the power provider and believes liberalization of the power sector could be the answer.

“If there was some sort of competition, they would step up to the plate,” he said.

“Until then, I guess the typical approach is that we have to deal with it or something to that effect. It is insulting that the bill for a mediocre service or the lack thereof is constantly astronomical.”

Chikera Thompson, a resident of Coral Heights East, said after suffering for hours in the dark for two consecutive days, she hopes to see a reduction in her November bill.

“This situation is concerning because not only are we experiencing high bills, but now we have to be concerned about or appliances, and the damage each surge can cause, she said.

“I’m just hoping that we do not have a repeat of the last two days…”

Scores of residents also took to Facebook to express their frustration with BPL.

Tuesday White, a mother of a newborn baby, said, “My baby is currently stripped down to a pamper and [is] quite miserable. Two nights in a row.”

Jessica Roberston said her water pump was destroyed.

She said until she receives compensation, her bill for November will go unpaid.

“[You] probably should hit pause on the automatic emailing of power bills this morning given this crap service you have provided for the past three days,” she said. “I’ll be coming to you for compensation for my burnt-out water pump rather than paying this one.”