By SANCHESKA DORSETT
Tribune Staff Reporter
BAHAMAS Power and Light yesterday blamed “copper theft” and “distribution challenges” for the constant power outages that have plagued Abaco in the past few weeks.
In a statement, BPL apologised for the frequent blackouts and said the company is “working constantly to resolve the issues.”
“While challenges impacting the generation and distribution network are to blame, theft of copper from BPL’s infrastructure continues to be a significant problem and has been responsible for a number of outages and the duration of each,” the statement noted.
“However, BPL continues to address each of these challenges and reiterates its overall commitment to supplying Abaco and the cays with consistent electricity. BPL sincerely apologises to its residential and commercial customers who have been impacted by these outages and assures them that it is working to find immediate solutions to this problem and long-term strategies to prevent a recurrence.”
The statement came while residents in Abaco were facing yet another power outage.
On Tuesday, residents, fed up with having to contend with frequent power cuts, told The Tribune that in some cases they were without electricity for more than 24 hours at a time.
Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU) President Paul Maynard called the frequent power outages in Abaco “disgraceful” and “unacceptable” as he urged BPL to “overhaul the island’s protection system,” which he claims has not been upgraded in 25 years.
Abaco residents expressed their disgust Thursday on BPL’s Facebook page with some persons calling for a march to Parliament against the company.
“Why has the power been interrupted for hours in the past few days? What are we supposed to do? You cannot have people living like this,” one person wrote.
Another customer wrote: “If you cannot do any better then get some people that know what they are doing. Everyday more and more of my appliances are burning up or need repairs and this situation isn’t getting any better. Stop this foolishness!”
Last month, Works Minister Desmond Bannister said he has “serious concerns” with BPL’s ability to “keep the lights on this summer.”
At the time, he said he is already “looking at new, alternative ways” of producing energy, including solar.