HomeEconomyCan Prolonged Power Outages Cause Serious Health Issues?  

Can Prolonged Power Outages Cause Serious Health Issues?  

Via phone: Andre Perez

Can Prolonged Power Outages Cause Serious Health Issues?  

The Belize Electricity Limited is figuring out how it will navigate through the dilemma of maintaining the country’s power supply.  Out in San Pedro where the tourism season is still at its peak, there are concerns of potential health issues should people consume perishables that have gone bad. This evening, Area Representative Andre Perez says that he looks to B.E.L. to solve the issue, but he wants other questions answered as well.


Via phone: Andre Perez, Area Representative, Belize Rural South

“Many things come into play, though. We’re talking about all kinds of things, even health issues come into play, especially with the heat right now. You have a lot of food poisoning. You’re hearing people dumping things out of their fridge.  It’s very serious and it’s cause for concern, and I am just afraid that this can be something looming up ahead and the way how the B.E.L company is letting us know that they are going to be load-shedding out over the country and says that there is a problem and we need to address it. We’re extremely concerned as it relates to tourism as well – extremely important. Of course, this is still the busy season. This is not the slow season as yet because we are very busy and extremely concerned. According to what we have been briefed, B.E.L. is pushing aggressively to install a massive generator here on Ambergris Caye. I think it’s about a 20-megawatt-sized generator, and they’re saying that they’re hoping that they can have it up and running by the end of May, and we are hopeful. Two things here: one is that this is fossil fuel type of generator, which is not really helping at all in terms of what we are as a community that’s trying to move away from fossil fuels, right, in terms of electricity. But secondly, given the urgency of it, it needs to be installed because I’m telling you, it would be grief if we get affected here furthermore, and It can threaten not only the tourism sector, but indeed our economy. While you might blame Mexico for not providing, we have to look as well at the infrastructure. What has B.E.L done in the past 15 years? What caused these problems because the three outages caused is not by C.F.E, which is the Mexican Commission that provides electricity. It is showing that it is part of the infrastructure. So this is a concern firstly, as I see it, we have a concern here as it relates to the infrastructure that has not been addressed. And I think it’s manifesting itself now that San Pedro is actually consuming so much energy at this point in time.”


Marion Ali

Are people buying their own generators?


Andre Perez

“Lots of people have been buying up the generators right now, but that’s an additional expense that we don’t need, but we have to deal with it. When you drive around town here – yesterday when it was in the dark, a lot of people had these generators running, but this is a cost that nobody’s budgeting for, so it’s serious and healthwise.”


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