THE EDITOR, Sir:
No Olympics, no Independence. Thanks, Jamaica Public Service (JPS)! And while Digicel would like to boast of its islandwide coverage, perhaps both were working in tandem, because while JPS locked off the electricity on us for more than two days, every time the power went out we had little or no signal on our mobile phones.
We couldn't even surf the Internet on our phones and had to use our car chargers to power our mobiles.
Quite frankly, we do not live 'inna bush', and this is certainly not the Ice Age, where 'likkle breeze' blows and we didn't even get an opportunity to watch the Grand Gala activities on television. Oh, yes, Usain Bolt won the 100 metres race at the London 2012 Olympics in fine style. Our friends had to record and then send commentary of the race, via voice notes, on our phones, which took ages to get to us because the reception, all of a sudden, was also down.
Now, you may think this is all ranting and raving over nothing. But we are law-abiding and paying customers of the light and power company who have, over the years, had scant disregard for us.
A friend of ours who was so distraught over the fact that we, after nearly 24 hours, were still without electricity, and the fact that we have a seven-month-old child did some enquiries. We were then informed that it was an all-island blackout, and parts of St Catherine, St Mary, Portland and St Andrew, where we live, were still to receive electricity - this at 11 p.m. on Monday, August 6.
This is an absolute SHAME and DISGRACE! Yes, we had battery-operated radios and flashlights, but what excuse will JPS give us now for what we call another heartless attack on us, and, by extension, Digicel!
We are not idiots, because we know the transmission towers are powered by electricity. But what about the backup? Come on, Digicel! If we had an emergency, were we to have used carrier pigeons or stand on our roofs and bellow for help!
This is the 21st century! The Office of Utilities Regulation needs to conduct a thorough investigation into what really happened. Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Philip Paulwell, we NEED some answers!
We shudder to think what if Tropical Storm Ernesto had really continued on its initial projected path, we would be looking at no electricity for weeks and, perhaps, months. Kelly Tomblin, JPS's CEO, you are relatively new here in Jamaica, but we would like to know 'wha really gwaan' and 'weh unnu plan fi do' should we have another tropical storm or hurricane threat.
Albeit we are still in the hurricane season and at the very least August and September are the two most active months. Maybe we should resort to using 'tilley lamps' or bottle torches as in the olden days.
Certainly we cannot afford solar energy like Minister Paulwell!
Stoney Hill, St Andrew