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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The project entailed the installation of approximately 0.5 kilometres of power lines
  • Electricity installed in Bottom Yard at a cost of $2.5 million
  • Residents urged to use the electricity to engage in activities that will enhance themselves

Residents of Bottom Yard in Bath, St. Thomas, now have electricity in their homes following the completion of installation work in the community by the Rural Electrification Programme Limited (REP), at a cost of $2.5 million.

The project, which will benefit upwards of 22 residents, entailed the installation of approximately 0.5 kilometres of power lines, utility poles, transformers, and conductors over a three-month period.

Science, Technology, Energy and Mining Minister, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, who formally switched on the light during a ceremony on Tuesday, July 23, underscored the importance of electricity in advancing development.

“Electricity is a vital utility. We can’t speak about the information age; we can’t speak about the revolution that is taking place in information and communications technology; we can’t speak about the 21st Century, until our people have full access to electricity,” he contended.

The Minister urged the residents to exercise responsibility in utilizing the service.

Health Minister and Member of Parliament for East St. Thomas, where the community is located, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, in welcoming the service, commended the Ministry and REP on an “excellent job”.  He expressed gratitude for the quick response to the community’s request for electricity.

In echoing similar sentiments, Acting Mayor of Morant Bay, Councillor Ludlow Mattison, said the project’s completion “means much to the residents”, pointing out that “for a long time, they have endured the darkness; but tonight, indeed, there is light.”

Several residents, who spoke with JIS News, were also elated to finally have electricity in their community.

Samantha Laing, who has lived in Bottom Yard for just over two years, said that “before (tonight), we were in darkness down here. But I give thanks for what they have done,” she said.

Another resident, Fay Ellis, pointed out that travelling in the community at night was challenging as “down here was very dark, the road was very dark, and we could not see (very well) to come down here.”

“I feel very grateful to see; in fact we feel great that we all see light come,” Ms. Ellis said.

In describing the installation of electricity as “a big thing”, another resident, Dawn Wynter, contended that residents will “feel much safer (in) their surroundings” adding that “they are very happy about it.”

In his remarks, REP Chairman, Rev. Dr. Garnett Roper, urged the residents to use the opportunity of having electricity to engage in activities that will enhance themselves and the community.

“It’s very important that you make some choices (about) what you want to do, now that you have light. What I think the community of Bottom Yard needs to do…every time you spend some money to use (the) electricity, (is) make sure you can earn some money by the use of (it). And when you do that, you will begin to change the character of the place….because you are increasing your productive output,” Rev. Roper advised.