Do better, JPS, urge Bluefields residentsWednesday, July 21, 2021
BY KIMBERLEY PEDDIE
BLUEFIELDS, Westmoreland — A recent spate of interruptions to the power supply has left members of this and nearby communities calling on utility provider Jamaica Public Service Company to do better.
“Almost every day the [power] goes and I'm not… happy about it, because sometimes we have important stuff to take care of,” complained Christopher Williams from Auldayr District. The farmer explained that interruptions to the electricity supply sometimes damage the LED lights he uses on some of his plants.
The most recent outage over the weekend left residents battling the summer heat and afraid thieves would use the cover of darkness to strike.
“Usually, I would get a heads-up via phone or e-mail; but this time, none,” said resident Andre James. He added that many business places were left vulnerable Saturday night as they depend heavily on the power supply to operate their security systems. Some simply closed their doors when the power went, unwilling to put customers at risk.
Calbert Walters, a fisherman from Belmont, is also worried about thieves. “People will wait till current gone and thief your animal dem. Current gone too often,” he said, obviously angry. He is also concerned about the impact the frequent power outages may have on his electrical appliances. “I'd like JPS people dem to consider the poorer class of people weh dem tings a destroy. [There are interruptions in service] all four, five times for the night,” he said.
Justice of the Peace Joselyn Stephens was among those calling on the utility provider to address the issue of what residents consider to be too-frequent outages. “It's of concern to everyone. JPS needs to do something about it,” he urged.
JPS area manager for the west, Detommie Fuller, who has responsibility for distribution and operations, told the Jamaica Observer that the company is aware of the issue.
“JPS is aware that residents have experienced a number of power outages in recent times but these have been for a combination of reasons, some of which have been outside the control of the company,” she said.
Saturday night's power outage, she explained, was caused by a motor vehicle accident which left significant damage. When there are unplanned power outages, the company is unable to alert residents ahead of time, she stressed. Efforts were being made, she said, to address the other issues that have been contributing to the frequent interruptions in service.
“While JPS has been making significant strides in reliability generally across the island, the company has recognised some technical issues affecting these customers. This is something that we will be seeking to remedy so that the quality of service can return to the standard that they are accustomed to,” said Fuller.