On day two of a series of blackouts, some people are placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of the utility Barbados Light & Power Company Ltd which they said could do much better, while others concluded that power outages must be expected.
Light & Power blamed the island-wide outage, which started yesterday around 7.29 am, forcing the closure of schools and businesses, on dirty fuel compounded by aging generators, half of which are past their due retirement.
Electricity was returned to most of the island late Monday night. But on Tuesday morning, BL&P reported that overnight one of its large diesel engines shut down due to another stuck fuel pump, forcing another round of school and business closures.
The power cuts also disrupted water supply as several pumping stations were knocked out of action.
Speaking to the nation today, Prime Minister Mottley described what she called an embarrassing situation as unacceptable.
Residents, speaking to Barbados TODAY gave mixed views on the power cuts, ranging from blame to acceptance to a suggestion to seek alternative power sources.
Robert Forde said he believed BL&P should be held accountable for what he considers to be failing to “not plan ahead seeing that the equipment old and faulty”.
Forde, who said he was semi-retired, indicated that while he was not directly affected by the outages, it was time for national consultation to take place regarding the possibility of fully moving over to the use of alternative energy and making it affordable for all householders to access it.
He told Barbados TODAY: “They should always have money set aside for placing new equipment.
“But, it is just about how things are being run nowadays, we can’t expect any better.
“It is terrible that people can’t function because they don’t have light and they don’t have water. Something needs to be done about it.”
A tradesman who only gave his name as John said work at his workshop stopped because there was no electricity to power equipment.
The joiner said he had quite a few orders to fulfill for customers who expect their products to be delivered before the Yuletide season.
He told Barbados TODAY: “I would like to know if the Barbados Light & Power will compensate me for the business that I will lose.
“Think about it, ma’am. I now have to work on those bed frames, and wardrobes and chest of drawers that I should have work on today and yesterday, tomorrow and into weekend.
“That will only push back Thursday and weekend work into next week. I even had to send home my workmen because there is no water at the workshop either.
“This is ridiculous and unacceptable as the Prime Minister rightfully said. We got to get it together in this place, man.”
Eugenia Edey said when the power went off on Monday she was at the doctor’s office awaiting a dental procedure. Edey said she waited for four hours before the electricity came back on in that area and the dentist was able to resume treatments.
“That was an inconvenience for me because I was forced to forgo a number of appointments I had in the afternoon. This is unacceptable,” Edey said.
Allison Clarke said she decided not to fuss or fight because there was nothing she could do on her own to restore the electricity.
Clarke, who took time out to do some shopping with her daughter, who was unable to attend school, said: “Things like this will happen.
“It is life. We can’t do anything about it.
“So I can’t fuss up and fight up about it.”
Returning national Simeon Carter said that he was not directly affected by the power outages since the generator he had at his home for the past 15 years, kicked in as soon as the mains supply went.
Carter said that while his generator was priced at $4,200 (US$2,100) at the time he bought it overseas, he encouraged Barbadians to buy affordable generators for their homes as a worthwhile investment.
He said: “The current went off again this morning, and couple seconds it came on.
“Invest in generators. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the size like mine, but invest in a small one. With a small one you would have to go outside and start it, but mine just come on.”