(CMC) – The Dominica Electricity Company (DOMLEC) says it will not be able to meet its deadline to provide every customer here with electricity by April this year, nearly eight months after Hurricane Maria tore through the island, killing at least 30 people and destroying most of the island’s infrastructure.
DOMLEC general manager, Bertilia McKenzie, said that the utility company had in November given an undertaking that “all things being equal every customer would have access by DOMLEC’s grid by April 2018.
“Regrettably, due to the challenges experienced, the restoration will be extended past April 2018. DOMLEC remains committed to providing access to all our customers within the shortest possible time.”
She said that nearly 100 linesmen from the region are on the island and are expected to remain here until the restoration project is completed.
“So, therefore, our manpower challenge has been addressed. Additional equipment is expected to arrive here in May and we have also started to see in April an improvement in our supply of materials,” she said, adding that consumers would be told of the areas where electricity has been restored.
The Dominica government has said following the passage of the Category 5 storm on September 18, that it plans to become the first climate resilient country and that the reconstruction exercise would be guided by that policy.
The storm left an estimated US$931 million in total damages and losses of US$382 million to the productive, social, infrastructure and other sectors amounting to 226 per cent of the GDP (gross domestic product) of 2016.