Guana Cay residents’ open letter to BPL

To whom it may concern/ Bahamas Power and Light Corporation:

May 31 marks nine full months since the island of Great Guana Cay has had power.

Like the rest of Abaco, Guana Cay’s electricity was disconnected by Hurricane Dorian after the Category 5 storm made landfall on September 1, 2019.

Since last year, there has been little headway in restoring our power. Mainland Abaco has seen parts of the island reconnected, as they are the priority for now, yet, Guana Cay has been placed on the back burner along with other outer cays.

These long nine months without power have been detrimental both mentally and financially to Abaconians.

The average cost of a gallon of fuel is $5. Every hour, you spend around a gallon of fuel, amounting to a daily total of $60, if you limit your consumption.

If you do the math, we can all come to the same conclusion; running generators constantly is extremely expensive.

These figures are not including the cost of oil or maintenance and God forbid your generator has any issue (try getting parts here in the Abacos; it is not easy).

Life here isn’t easy.

We were made aware that the mental health of BPL workers was prioritized over ours, yet, we are begging for some headway to be made in reconnecting our islands.

We, as an island, are desperate to have power restored as quickly as possible and to have our questions acknowledged and answered.

As it stands right now, it is common knowledge that BPL will not have our power restored before the one-year anniversary of Dorian rolls around, but Guana Cay would like to be as ready as possible for whenever you are able to provide a strong crew to us.

BPL, we have several questions for you:

— When can we expect a generator to be provided to Guana Cay like has been done for several other islands?

— When will the company confirm whether or not the underwater cable from Marsh Harbour has been severed?

— There are several transformers sitting outside on island. When can we expect installation of transformers and other equipment to facilitate electricity to the island?

— When can we expect inspectors to deem houses acceptable for reconnection on island?

— What do locals need to purchase to have their houses reconnected (i.e. electrical boxes and disconnects) and what additional costs will we have to incur for this reconnection?

— Does BPL have any sort of timeline for the out-island reconnection, even though it may be a tentative one?

— Who should we be in contact with if we have any subsequent questions to be answered?

— How many inspectors do you intend to send to Abaco to ensure proper inspection and reconnection of our homes?

— Will BPL enforce new building codes in regard to arc fault breakers retroactively in existing structures even though they are not available and cost prohibitive?

For the last nine months, we have been asking these questions, yet, no one seems to be able to answer them and shows little concern for us here in Abaco.

Maarten Marjon Vander & the Guana Cay community

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