By anguillian November 20, 2017 09:42 Updated




By Christmas, electricity should be substantially restored in Anguilla with the combined assistance of Caribbean and Canadian linesmen working together, across the island, along with Anguillian workmen.

Over the past several weeks, Anguilla has welcomed teams of linesmen from Dominica, St. Vincent, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts-Nevis, Montserrat, the Bahamas, Guyana and Trinidad. In some cases there has been a replacement of teams to continue the restoration work.

On November 9, the first batch of fifteen Canadians arrived at the Clayton Lloyd International Airport in Anguilla. They were met by a welcome party which included Governor Tim Foy, OBE, Chief Minister Victor Banks and other officials from the Governor’s Office, the Government and the Anguilla Electricity Company (ANGLEC).

The Canadians are the first of a group of thirty linesmen and five supervisors to have arrived in Anguilla, with the others booked to arrive during this week. The Canadians, who were working previously in the Turks and Caicos Islands for two months, are being funded on behalf of Anguilla by the UK Government which has also funded six bucket trucks and two digger derricks.
Speaking at the airport, while awaiting the arrival of the first batch of Canadian linesmen, Governor Foy told The Anguillian: “First of all, we got to say that the whole of David Gumbs’ team, at ANGLEC, has done a brilliant job – and also we really got to pay credit to the teams from around the Caribbean that came here straight away. They have done the lion’s share of the work thus far. I think this [Canadian] group offers us a bit of surge capacity so that we can build on those efforts [of the previous workers] and to hope for power for all by Christmas. Everybody has been working so hard, and this is one of those issues where the more resources you put out there, the quicker you will fix it.

“I think it is very much standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before and have done a fantastic job. I am really pleased that the UK Government has been able to help but, really, a big thanks to ANGLEC and also those countries in the region that contributed workers to help out another Caribbean country.”

Chief Minister Banks commented: “I am grateful to the British Government for funding this very critical intervention by the Canadian linesmen. It is critical for restoring electricity islandwide. The Governor and I have been working along with the ANGLEC facility, and the Minister of Infrastructure, to ensure that we do everything in our power to make sure that this happens. I am very happy today to be here to see the first set of Canadians coming in. The equipment – bucket trucks and digger derricks – to support them is on its way.

“The Canadian linesmen are from a company that was involved in the Turks and Caicos Islands. The fact they have come here means that they have already done most of the work there and are now in a position to work with us. They have the kind of experience working in the Caribbean and I welcome them. It means that the timetable for the islandwide electrification has now been stepped up, and while we have been looking at January/February we are hopeful that we will have lights for Christmas.”

Minister of Infrastructure, Mr. Curtis Richardson, had this to say: “We are grateful for this support from the British Government at the request of our Government. As the Minister of Infrastructure, I knew very early that we would have had to bring in help. Based on our calculations with ANGLEC’s CEO, Mr. David Gumbs, we felt that it would take six months to restore electricity in Anguilla. We felt that given the importance of the tourism sector, the love that we have for the people of Anguilla, and the importance of the Christmas season that we should try to have electricity restored by Christmas.
“This effort will ensure that just about 90 percent of Anguilla will have electricity. We dubbed it ‘the Lights for Christmas Programme’. The Governor, Chief Minister and everyone else have put in a very big effort to make sure that this is possible. There has been a lot of strong support from the Governor’s Office to make this possible. I think some three million dollars were invested in this effort to bring in the Canadians, pay them for being here; give them accommodation, food and transport. It is a very costly venture but, definitely, it is a commitment to restore electricity throughout the island.”
ANGLECs CEO, Mr. David Gumbs, added his comments: “We are very excited to have this Canadian team through the auspices of the UK Government,” he stated. “It has been a big challenge in terms of having the number of people and resources we need to push this task through to the end of the year. We are feeling very confident now, with the numbers coming in, that in two weeks we should be able to make a major push that will help us restore electricity in Anguilla much faster.”
Asked how the restoration work would now be continued with the extra assistance, Mr. Gumbs replied: “We are going to first approach areas heading towards the west. One of the major areas we have to work on is a section from Corito through Little Harbour, down to Blowing Point, and continuing to the western sub-station and then we have to work on the feeders to other areas.”

Mr. Gumbs, like all other officials and members of the Anguillian community, are delighted for all the assistance being given to Anguilla, and its people, by the various electricity teams from across the Caribbean and now from Canada.

By anguillian November 20, 2017 09:42 Updated


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