Power Plans or (Partial) Public Deception?

St. Maarten is in the grips of an energy crisis, and GEBE’s approach is nothing short of scandalous. With four generators out of commission and a 15MW shortfall, you’d think transparency and effective communication would be top priorities. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth.

GEBE’s so-called ‘load shedding schedule’ is a joke. Crucial time slots like evening, night, and early morning? Completely ignored. As if life on St. Maarten stops when the sun sets. The random selection of regions and last-minute announcements render the schedule nothing more than a useless piece of paper.

This half-baked approach has far-reaching consequences:

  1. Economic damage: Businesses can’t plan, tourism suffers, and the local economy takes hit after hit.
  2. Safety risks: Unexpected blackouts at night create dangerous situations on streets and in households.
  3. Healthcare concerns: Hospitals and care facilities must constantly brace for power outages, putting lives at risk.
  4. Daily inconvenience: From spoiled food to missed deadlines – the impact on daily life is enormous.
  5. Public misinformation: By showing only a fraction of the problems, the severity of the situation is grossly underestimated.

GEBE’s current approach isn’t just incompetent; it borders on willful deception of the population. St. Maarten deserves better. We demand:

  • Full 24-hour schedules, communicated well in advance (if this is a matter of public safety, at least be honest about your strategy!)
  • Transparency about the true extent of the problem (was is planned, or did something went wrong)
  • A concrete action plan with timeline, not just vaque political talk and candid useless sessions
  • A plan on compensation for affected citizens and businesses (we know there is no money, not our problem)

It’s time for GEBE to take responsibility and bring St. Maarten out of the darkness – both literally and figuratively. The current situation is untenable and undermines trust in vital infrastructure. St. Maarten deserves leadership that sheds light on problems, instead of shrouding them in shadows.