Thursday 9 April, 2020

PM Mottley calls power outage 'unacceptable and embarrassing'

Barbados' Prime Minister Mia Mottley has labelled the current power issues plaguing the island as 'unacceptable and embarrassing'.

And the PM has called on the electric company Barbados Light and Power Co. Ltd. and its parent company Emera to meet with her urgently today, November 19, 2019.

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"I have already asked the management of Light and Power to ensure that as a matter of urgency that the Chairman of Barbados Light and Power, the Chairman of Emera in Barbados Light and Power be available to meet with me this evening because this is an unacceptable situation."

Moreover, with rumors flying via social media about the origins of the outages, she went on to stress: "Recognise at this stage, I am not an engineer, we are not engineers, and we will await the word as to how a country can have all of its generating capacity down at the same time. It is inexplicable to me and I trust that this evening when I meet with the Chairman that we will have all of those answers."

This morning, Light and Power issued a notice via social media speaking to more issues which arose this morning. They said the challenges are "not over yet".

Pledging that we are going to resolve this issue, she added: "It is unacceptable. It is embarrassing but in life we don't get to choose the circumstances or the hand that we play. Sometimes we get the hand and we have therefore to rise to the occasion and do what's necessary."

In her address to the nation some minutes ago, the PM said: "The country is experiencing an unacceptable loss of power across the entire island."

For some, it has been 24 hours without water and many hours without power.

Noting that some restoration is occurring which has allowed the Belle Pumping Station to resume its functioning, and understanding that the Ionics Desalination Plant is to come back on stream soon, Barbados' leader said that her first priority is "security and the well being" of citizens.

"We have done all in our power to ensure that Barbadians are first safe", and with respect to access to water, "we are working on that" and where pumping stations are still offline, water trucks are being deployed "in the order of priority."

With Belle back up and Ionics promised to be back online this morning, the Prime Minister believes that most of the island will have water restored "as long as the power can be stabalised there."

Assurance has been giving that all power generating capacity at the critical institutions is working, namely at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Her Majesty's Prison - Dodds, Grantley Adams International Airport, and the Barbados Sea Port.

The aim is to try to stick to normalcy "as close as possible", explained Mottley.

While awaiting news on how the Barbados Light and Power will resolve this issue, she reiterated that the country is safe and Barbadians can go about their business or remain indoors safe and comfortable.

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