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Peace Protest BEC Policies on Monday Morning
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Page 1 of 1Total of 3 messages
Posted by:Aug 29th 2010, 12:47:33 pm
Fig Tree News Team'Briland still sweet, eh!'

Dear Editor,

"Enough is enough" was the angry cries coming from the people of Harbour Island as they held a demonstration against the Bahamas Elec-tricity Corporation (BEC) this past Monday. It is hard to believe that 18 years after hurricane Andrew on August 23, 1992 destroyed the electrical system in North Eleu-thera, that electricity is still a challenge. For 13 of that 18 years, the government that has been in power has been the Free National Movement (FNM) and with an FNM MP representing the North Eleu-thera constituency for the entire time. Certainly, if there was a political will to correct this unfortunate situation, it should have been dealt with by now!

Persons involved in this demonstration were from all walks of life. The group included the young, the old, locals, nationals, internationals, church going Christians, liquor drinking partiers, PLPs, FNM's, white, black and everyone in between. They were making it abundantly clear to the government of the Bahamas and BEC that they were simply just sick and tired of the shabby treatment and poor service that was the standard for the operations at BEC. It is due to the poor performance of BEC that many persons and businesses suffered a loss through no fault of their own. The frustrations of years of promises to do better have come to a head. There has been just too many ruined vacations, spoiled parties, spoiled foods, destroyed appliances, etc. to continue operating in such a ridiculous manner. Something must be done now!

What is of interest is the fact that in the old days when there was only a single individual working the power plant at Harbour Island, these daily blackouts were nonexistent. Old man Arthur Curry, someone who had never gone to high school kept the generators at Harbour Island in top shape. The number of times that there were blackouts with Arthur Curry at the switch could be counted on one hand and you would still have fingers left over. There-fore, it is indeed possible to have a reliable and adequate supply of electricity on Harbour Island.

One of the feeble excuses as to why electricity is in such a high demand in Harbour Island is the rapid rate of development that has been taking place on that island over the last several years. This is really a poor excuse as the government of The Bahamas is well aware of any development going on in Harbour Island as they are the ones who have to approve it. Certainly BEC being a government corporation is kept informed as to what electricity demands could be projected for that island! There must be someone at BEC with some vision as what to expect and make a realistic recommendation as to what amount of electricity should be generated. It cannot be a matter of money as on a monthly basis, millions of dollars is paid to BEC by the consumers in Harbour Island. The amount that BEC collects from the Harbour Island consumers far ex-ceeds the amount of capital expenditure that BEC has on that island. In other words, Harbour Island is a profit centre for BEC and one would expect that BEC would do a better job of satisfying their preferred customers. All that is needed is a common sense approach to deal with the problems that have been plaguing Harbour Island for years.

BEC's solution is to build a multi-million dollar electrical plant at Hatchet Bay that supposedly will take care of the demands of Harbour Island. So far the plant has not yet been put to use even though projected deadlines have come and gone. It appears that either those persons who administer the affairs of BEC are either insensitive to the needs of the people of Har-bour Island as had been said for other areas of The Baha-mas or they are simply just incompetent. There is just no way that BEC can just continue to mess up as it has been doing over the years.

To make matters worse, BEC often hides behind the slogan of "An Act of God" when it comes to explaining its outages. During a thunderstorm, lightening might strike one of the transformers. Or a vehicle might accidently run into one of the transformers. These are ac-ceptable excuses. However, most of the blackouts occur during what is an absolutely perfect day... Homes and businesses have been de-stroyed by fire in what many persons feel was a direct re-sult of faulty electricity provided by BEC. Very rarely or if ever BEC has accepted the responsibility for their negative and disastrous actions in the Eleuthera community. This is so unfair because as soon as one becomes delinquent with their account, their services are interrupted. BEC is not interested in any sad stories, you must simply pay up or else! People often wonder why the public never hears the Minister of Consumer Affairs, the Honourable Dion Foulkes on these matters? The bottom line is that there appears to be no functioning governmental institution that protects or defends the consumer. You are simply at the mercy of an unjust system!

The main concern in Harbour Island is the fact that should the inability of BEC to deliver a reliable and adequate amount of electricity to the consumers continue, there could be irreversible damage to the elite Harbour Is-land tourism industry, one that for several years in a row has earned the reputation as the best in the region.

The international jet-setters and the rich and famous have made Harbour Island the "in" place to be. However, poor electrical supply have forced cancellation of major events, premature termination of their Harbour Island vacation and a negative impression not just of Harbour Island, but the whole Bahamas. BEC must just simply do better or give it to another party who can do the job right of adequately providing electricity to Eleutherans. It is time to look at alternate energy sources such as setting up a wind farm on the ocean side of Gregory Town or James Cistern where there are always strong ocean breezes or go hydro-electric by harnessing hydro-electrical power from the Current.

BEC has done very little to explore the scientific technology to produce a better product! Yet, despite all the setbacks with BEC, the visitors to Harbour Island are assured of a good time, because "Briland still sweet, eh!"

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Leatendore Percentie
Posted by:Aug 17th 2010, 07:42:18 pm
Fig Tree News TeamPublished On:
Monday, August 16, 2010

Tribune Staff Reporter

HARBOUR Island residents are set to demonstrate this morning in front of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation's office after suffering for a week with "some 30 hours of blackouts", chief counsellor on the island Darrel Johnson said.

Protesting the constant power outages that have plagued the island, Mr Johnson said that after Wednesday's 16-hour blackout the community decided that enough, was enough. About 75 citizens showed up to a Thursday meeting, where they agreed by unanimous vote to protest.

"They (BEC) have been working on it for five years now. How much patience could you have? The power was off on Wednesday night at 10.45pm. For some people it was not restored until 6pm Thursday, the following day. Friday it went off again for four hours. Yesterday, (Saturday) it went off at 6am and came back on at 11am. It went off at 1.30am this morning (Sunday) and came back on at 6am. How much more patience do they want," he said.

Along with the inconvenience of the power outages, Mr Johnson said residents are losing refrigerators, generators, and general appliances due to the electrical spikes. In addition to the loss of personal items, the island councillor said tourists are becoming fed-up and leaving as well.

"It's 95 degrees at day, and 85 degrees at night. People are simply not sleeping. Folks on the island who have to get up in the morning to make breakfast and clean for the children who cannot sleep at night. Some of them can't take a shower because there is no water. But yet they must still get up and go serve the tourists.

"The community simply wants power. Wednesday when power was off, BEC was down here disconnecting people. There are so many people being affected. Last night, the number of people on the road simply trying to get release it is unbelievable," said Mr Johnson.

Last week, BEC issued a statement asking residents of Harbour Island for "patience" as they work to resolve the island's lingering power supply problems. According to the corporation, the first two cuts, which lasted about 40 minutes each, were the result of power trips on the main line supplying electricity from the Hatchet Bay power station to Harbour Island. After the problem was resolved, the power had to be cut again for about an hour around 10am to allow BEC workers to replace faulty equipment at the Harbour Island Power Station. More power cuts followed. The statement said: "BEC is presently in the process of completing the installation of a new supply route to the Harbour Island mainland. We are also in the process of testing our new facility at Hatchet Bay. Once these projects have been completed it is expected that the reliability of supply to the Harbour Island mainland will significantly improve and the interruptions to electricity services will diminish."
Posted by:Aug 16th 2010, 06:26:11 am
Fig Tree News TeamFrom Swanique Nikita Sawyer

Attention all Brilanders. There will be a peace protest on Monday at 11:00am at
B.E.C's office. Myself and the rest of the community members that attended the meeting discussing the power outages, have made a decision
that as a community we need to pull together and show we mean business.

...ZNS will be there and we need as many ppl out to speak personally about how they are affected.

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