I started to comment on a different topic when, what has become a nuisance, the days current went again, this time for almost two hours. Last week G.E.B.E. promised us that there would not be any outages for a while because the problem causing the load shedding was solved. That was like telling us that the mouse will not eat the cheese anymore because we bought a mousetrap.
And then, two days later no Cable TV. The lady at customer service said that they did not have any current because of a G.E.B.E. outage. While speaking to her the current went at home by me also. I have not passed a day since then without electricity outage. It became so bad that it became contagious causing an outage upstairs (red moon).
To be able to do the laundry without interruption I do it at 5 o’clock in the morning. That’s about the only time when there is no outage. When I tell people that G.E.B.E should compensate the clients because of the outages, I was answered if you don’t have current they cannot charge you for using it. I was not talking about that, I was talking about the inconvenience caused for not having the current which interrupts your work and the man hours that are lost etc.
Because of all this unreliability on the part of G.E.B.E. for delivering the electricity that is so high and for charging the client NAf. 2,50 per day, every day after the due date that the bill is not paid, I believe it is no more than right for the consumers to get the facts or the reason why it seems as if G.E.B.E. is not concerned.
Power outages have been constant for as long as I have been on this island and the people of St. Maarten have endured all kinds of injustices (losing electrical appliances) along with the man hours. By now we know how often G.EB.E. has given explanation for their short-comings and nothing has changed where it concerns those constant outages. So because there has been no improvement and only increase on the bills, and because history has proven that G.E.B.E is not readily prepared to compensate for damages caused by power surge, I would suggest some sort of a financing for the clients to be able to acquire a decent generator or even a solar system or probably negotiate with the WIB to substitute cars for generators this time around.
If the inventory is up to date this should not be too difficult. (The world is eventually going green anyhow). The high temperatures in the Caribbean and Atlantic region these last months should tell us that electricity should be high on the priority list. This should not be taken for granted. The pond did not dry up in two hours. By the way, talking about the pond reminds me of what MP Maurice Lake says he is all about. Sharing the faith. Wasn’t there only one company clearing the fish out of the pond? And wasn’t it the same company that gets all the cleaning jobs? I stand to be corrected.
Russell A. Simmons