Monday 25 September 2017

black

Black out

I live in that stretch of road in Mosta which was affected by the power cut for over 22 hours this weekend (from Friday at midnight to Saturday at 9.30pm). It was terrible, to put it mildly.

Apart from throwing away spoiled food, the unbearable heat and the sheer frustration because I had to meet a tight deadline but could not do any work, I think it was the complete lack of information which was the most exasperating.

For as long as the battery on my phone and iPad held out I kept checking for updates from news websites, and the only details I could glean were sketchy at best and at other times just wild guesses. I read that the power would be restored early afternoon, late afternoon, 6pm, 7pm…who knew?  In situations like this I feel it is Enemalta itself which should keep consumers updated with constant communication on some Facebook page, TV, radio or any other media. Do they even have a PR/communications person?

It is bad enough to have a literal black out without a black out of information as well.

Inevitably there were the jokes about Konrad Mizzi and how he had hit upon the ingenious plan of cutting off electricity to keep the electoral promise of reducing tariffs by 25%. But let me tell you, none of us were smiling, and his ears must have been buzzing with the amount of swear words directed at his direction. The only thing these power cuts are doing is pissing people off at the government (like we used to be pissed off at the previous government), which was not exactly their intention I presume.

While my work had to wait, at least I was not losing money because of food spoilage like the many shops in my area. The larger ones had generators but I really felt sorry for the smaller outlets as they grappled to find solutions. My next door butcher and chemist, both quoted in today’s Times of Malta, describe just what the long power cut meant for their business.  Thousands of Euros worth of meat and refrigerated vaccines had to be thrown away.

Some online commentators said that all shops should have a back up generator, but that is not always possible in built-up areas where neighbours inevitably complain about the noise, especially with everyone’s nerves already frazzled because of the heat.  Plus, the real point is, why should we still have to endure power cuts?

More importantly will Enemalta ever get its act together and keep consumers continuously informed when these things happen? Because to date we still have not been told what caused such an unacceptable long delay in fixing the fault. In the meantime, there is no way I will be stocking up my fridge or freezer any time soon.

 

 

 

 

  • Ramon Casha

    Do any of the cold stores in Malta offer refrigerator space for such situations?

    If EneMalta could give a proper warning, including worst-case-scenarios, people with perishable goods might be able to make arrangements to transport their perishable goods to a second location. I’m sure that some of the commercial cold stores could offer to keep their foods or other products against payment until the situation is back to normal. They could rent out refrigerator space by the cubic meter per day.

  • Joe

    That sounds very impractical Ramon. Imagine what you’d have to pay to have all that spare freezer space just waiting for a long power cut. Best thing to do at the first sign of a power cut is to leave the freezer / fridge alone as opening it will let in warm air. I agree with Josanne re information: it is needed so people can make arrangements and modify plans.

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