After days of repeated power outages on New Providence with little forewarning, Bahamas Power and Light (BPL) said it is working to better communicate with the public and intends to use community WhatsApp groups to disseminate information about planned load-shedding exercises.
“We recognize that we haven’t done the best job in being proactive in our communications and we will change that,” BPL Chairman Dr. Donovan Moxey said yesterday during a press conference.
He added, “We’re looking to set up community groups within WhatsApp
communications and once that’s available… we’ll communicate that.
“We know that these various communities have community watch groups, they have constituency groups. …We want to make sure that when we do have information to push out, rather than just going to our Facebook page or our other social media sites, we can also send it directly to these WhatsApp groups so they can disseminate the information appropriately to all who are affected.”
Amid high temperatures over the past few days, many BPL consumers across the island complained of repeated electricity outages, some lasting hours at a time, during what the corporation initially said was a planned load-shedding exercise. Customers raised concern over the lack of communication from BPL.
While some have called for a publicized load-shedding schedule, BPL said that it does not release schedules due to concerns that criminals could use them to target areas without electricity.
However, police said there is no evidence to support such concerns.
Asked yesterday whether BPL liaised with police to determine that there was a significant risk, Moxey said that BPL based the decision on “historical information”, but that a meeting with police was planned for yesterday.
“We do understand that the situation can be frustrating,” he said.
“What we intend to do is to have a conversation with the various leaders in the police department today about what can possibly be done, given the safety concerns, in order to be a lot more proactive and a lot more deliberate in our communications with respect to the load shedding.
“But again, we have to balance that with the safety of our customers. Safety of our customers is number one for us, and we’re not going to do anything that we believe may compromise customer safety.”
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish