Saint Lucia (October 22, 2015) – CARILEC’s member utility, Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) sought assistance from CARILEC Disaster Assistance Programme (CDAP), the islands utility infrastructure received considerable damage from hurricane Joaquin on October 1st and 2nd 2015.
A number of the Bahamas islands namely, Long Island, Rum Cay, Crooked Island, Acklins Island, San Salvador and Long Cay suffered extensive damage. In addition, Ragged Island, Cat Island, Exuma, Mayaguana and Inagua experienced damage and outages as a result of the hurricane.
Disaster response is one of the many benefits afforded to members of CARILEC, a service which is opportune during times of major disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding, and volcanic eruptions.
In keeping with CARILEC’s Disaster Assistance Programme (CDAP), member utilities make annual contributions to this CDAP Fund. The CARILEC Secretariat is charged with the coordination of all regional efforts to respond to such requests for assistance from disaster stricken member utilities.
Some of the activities undertaken by the Secretariat under this programme include the deployment of Engineers to undertake damage assessments and line crews to carry out transmission & distribution line restoration work.
Successful implementation of disaster restoration activities calls for the CARILEC Secretariat to collaborate with member utilities requesting assistance and those providing assistance as well as with regional and international public and private sector agencies.
CARILEC Disaster Assistance Programme was activated on October 7th, 2015. The utilities in the northern Caribbean region were targeted to provide assistance, because of their close proximity to BEC.
A total of twenty (20) crews from five (5) Utilities in the northern Caribbean were chosen to provide restoration assistance to BEC, over an estimated period of three (3) weeks. The British Virgin Islands Electricity Corporation (BVIEC), Grand Bahama Power Company (GBPC), Jamaica Public Service Company Ltd. (JPSCO), and Virgin Islands Water & Power Authority (VIWAPA) crews are currently in Bahamas providing restoration assistance to the BEC.
The crews comprise of utility team members of various levels of competencies, the teams are well advanced in restoring power to the customers of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation. The CARILEC Board of Directors and Secretariat wishes the people of Bahamas and Member Utility Bahamas Electricity Corporation a speedy recovery.