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It would be putting it mildly in saying people are fed-up with the non-stop blackouts. This publication has editorialised on this problem before given the importance of electricity in the day-to-day lives of Guyanese and every modern society. Blackouts (power outages) affect people’s lives in numerous ways. If you rely on the internet to transact business that is put on standstill.
If you want to iron your clothes, use the washer, or so many other acts of daily living that rely on electricity when there is a blackout everything freezes. This is the 21st century and Guyanese should not have to be living this life of backwardness. Blackout is more a norm than exception, reversing life to the days of yore which does not show national progress but regression.
Last December Prime Minister Mark Phillips, who has responsibility for electricity, was bursting with confidence when he said the government will work to prevent frequent blackouts. The promise was again made in March. Almost one year after the government entered office there is more rather than less blackout. Mr. Glen Lall, Publisher of Kaieteur News, in an appearance on Mark Benschop’s “Straight Up” programme said we are experiencing more blackouts now than under the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change government.
Guyanese should not have to resign themselves that frequent blackouts have returned. The government’s promise of buying electricity from private suppliers to feed the national grid and reduce blackouts has not proven to change the situation for the better. At night, rather than go to sleep knowing there is power, Guyanese have to pray for power or accept that they have to set up in their homes and watch their surroundings for fear of thieves capitalising on the dark, attacking them and stealing their hard-earned possessions.
Citizens wake up and go to sleep tired of the electricity woes. Guyanese are finding it hard to accept that they have to minimise purchase of perishable food. The gamble will have to be made whether to purchase or ignore bargains that require cold storage. People are skeptical purchasing perishable items such as meat, greens and poultry ignored due to fear that should they purchase them blackout will spoil them. Sellers are also affected because they are left with products on their hands and will have to throw them away.
When it is not worrying about food, it is worrying about protection of electrical appliances from being destroyed or not being able to conduct one’s business. Blackouts affect the way people spend and plan their lives. The blackout has become a cycle of mishaps and people are sick and tired of it. Living a life like this in the 21st century is going backward not forward. The government needs to come up with a credible and viable plan to stop the electricity woes.