(GINA) The island communities of Leguan and Wakenaam, in the Essequibo River are now experiencing a 24- hour power supply thanks to the upgrades done by the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Company. The historic transition was formally acknowledged today, when President Donald Ramotar declared operational, the rehabilitated power station serving the island.
In his remarks, President Ramotar said that government has been trying to provide electricity to citizens and this has been costing a lot. “At the moment we spend about $9 billion every year to try to ensure that we subsidise electricity for our consumers”. The move to the 24-hour power supply will be particularly beneficial to the women residing on the island, especially those who carry the “unequal pressure in the house in every way”. Children and youths will also be able to benefit from increased study time, he added as he cited the performance by other students who may have had “an unfair advantage.”
“Now we expect to hear that the children of Leguan and Wakenaam are challenging the rest of the country in producing top students as well, because we are now investing in you. Indirectly it might be said, but you will be having 24 hours electricity to study”. He also urged that students look, less, at soap operas and turn to the learning channel. Residents were also urged to take advantage of the future online courses which will be offered by the University of Guyana.
The link between education and development was also emphasised by the president who pointed out that the economical growth being experienced over the last eight years coincided with the amazing performances academically by the local students who continue to win regional awards.
It was recalled by GPL’s Chief Executive Officer, Bharrat Dindyal that the island’s first electricity supply service was commissioned by former President Janet Jagan. He explained that initially the service was provided six hours daily, then 12 hours from Monday to Fridayand through the weekend, with special consideration given to national holidays and special occasions. The communities east and west of the power station, he added, including Canefield in the East, and from La Bagatelle to Henrietta in the West were first serviced. In 1998, the service was extended to the northern part of the island, and today over 1,000 customers benefit.
Chairman of the GPL Board, Winston Brassington, also addressed stakeholders, noting that “we live in an age where power is expected to be on all the time and this was no different”. The issue of power outages, Brassington said should be adequately addressed by the built-in redundancy of the system as he urged those responsible for the operations of the station to “follow the book” and not take short cuts.
GPL, he assured is keen to ensure that the supply of electricity is of a high quality, with good service from its staff. He appealed to residents to pay their bills and avoid stealing power since the losses, whether technical or otherwise amount to some 37%.
Filed: 23rd December, 2014