Lacking streetlighting since Irma, Ebenezer calls on GEBE to fix it | THE DAILY HERALD

A group of residents of Ebenezer Estate requested an urgent meeting with NV GEBE to discuss a public safety matter which includes the lack of streetlights in their district. In photo: One of few functioning streetlights in Ebenezer, which is turned towards a yard and on during the day instead of illuminating the street at night. Story on page .

EBENEZER–A group of residents of Ebenezer Estate requested an urgent meeting with NV GEBE to discuss a public safety matter which includes the lack of streetlights in their district. A letter was sent to GEBE management on Friday.

Most of the roads in Ebenezer Estate have not had streetlights since Hurricane Irma. The Ebenezer Board made an inventory of all broken streetlights with the accompanying serial numbers for NV GEBE a couple months after Hurricane Irma. The list and accompanying letter were submitted to the utility company.

The community waited in vain for an answer and action from NV GEBE. “No streetlights were repaired in Ebenezer,” residents said.

Another group of residents decided recently to do a follow-up on the first inventory. They plan to identify all locations where streetlights are absent or non-functioning, as well as the few lights working properly. This list and map will be presented during the upcoming meeting with NV GEBE.

Streetlights are either missing a lightbulb, broken or have been turned the wrong way, towards people’s yards, residents explained. “We even have some NV GEBE light-poles on the sidewalks or in residents’ yards since Irma.”

NV GEBE technicians were on Lionel Connor Road/Melford Hazel Road some time ago and they engaged in a discussion with people from the neighbourhood about the overhanging electrical cables that pose a danger to vehicles of a certain height. The technicians replied that they needed a waiver to cut the road to run the above-hanging NV GEBE cables underground, residents recall.

Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment, and Infrastructure VROMI Egbert Doran attended the South Reward town hall meeting last week. While addressing the streetlights in Ebenezer, Doran said the entire underground cable system in this area needs to be replaced rather than fixed.

The residents said they are amazed by the statement and would like to know if NV GEBE had studied the situation to come to this conclusion. “All of the streetlights on Johannes C. Paap Road are turned towards residents’ yard,” one person remarked. “Does NV GEBE really think their technicians need to replace the entire system to turn back the lighting poles to the roadside for the safety of the residents?”

He noted that another streetlight is overgrown by a tree on Melford Hazel Road. “Do we need to change the entire system now to fix that urgent situation of public safety?” he asked.

The residents of Ebenezer Estate urgently request to be informed about NV GEBE’s written temporary and/or permanent plan of action with a time frame for replacing and fixing the streetlights in Ebenezer. “We would like to know a date when the work will take place,” they said. “Do the residents have to wait another six years for the entire system to be replaced in Ebenezer? Why didn’t NV GEBE replace it when TelEm dug up the entire area to lay their cables for the fibre-to-home project?”

Based on what the residents experienced with Hurricane Luis and Hurricane Irma, the Ebenezer community is very resilient, but also concerned for public safety. Most went the extra mile and purchased home lights to keep their homes safe and secure in the absence of functional streetlights.

“NV GEBE always emphasises that community safety is a top priority for the company,” said the residents, who are calling on the VROMI Ministry to “fix the little things that make a big difference for public safety in the community.”

The residents are looking forward to their urgent meeting with NV GEBE management regarding this public safety issue. 

Source: The Daily Herald