Residents protest living in the dark
KINGSTON — Angry residents in an area of Free- town, Clarendon, called Rasta Corner, yesterday blocked the road leading to the community to stage a protest over the lack of electricity in their area.
The placard-bearing resi-dents claimed that for months they have been trying to get authorities to supply them with electricity under the Rural Electrification Programme (REP), but to date, they are still in the dark.
Energy minister Phillip Paulwell recently rebranded the REP the Jamaica Energy Solutions Limited.
“Since last December we met with authorities under the Rural Electrification Programme and they told us if 20 people from the community could get their houses wired and pay over fees, they would provide the area with electricity,” said a resident, Luckisha Campbell.
They claimed that over 50 residents have since complied with the request.
“More than 50 people complied to the request, but all now we don’t get no electricity. We need the officials at JPSCo to come look into this matter,” said Sonia Smith, another resident who was part of the small group of men, women and children demanding answers.
Yesterday, Ruthlyn Johnson, corporate com-munications officer at JPS, said while she was not aware of the specific case, she would make contact with officials in the parish to get an update on the situation.
Police were called to the area to monitor the situation yesterday.
Last month, JPS carried out several operations to remove illegal connections in a number of Clarendon communities, including Coffals in Lionel Town, Sedge Pond District, Milk River, and Rasta Corner.
The company said between January and last Friday its teams have removed more than 86,000 illegal lines, completed over 50,000 account audits and investi-gations, while 126 people have been arrested for illegal theft of electricity across the island. (Observer)