El Guamo: The town with a seven-month blackout

Neighbors take the office of the Mayor, to protest for a seven-month interruption in service caused by a busted transformer that has not been replacing or repaired.

A group of mothers from the El Guamo sector protested at the Mayor's Office in Paez for being without electricity for more than 200 days. Photo by Mariangel Moro Colmenarez.

By Mariangel Moro Colmenarez.

For more than 210 days, a hundred families from the rural El Guamo sector of the Pimpinela parish, in the municipality of Paez, Portuguesa state, have been living dark times, literally.

Neither the Mayor’s Office nor other government agencies such as Corpoelec have taken on the task of replacing the transformer that exploded in this rural area seven months ago, according to Hilda Hurtado.

“For seven months, we have been reporting and also protesting by blocking the access road to the farmhouse, but no one has attended to us. We can’t stand it anymore. We have children who are suffering because of this situation and older adults who are hypertensive, they can’t spend any more days like this, without anyone feeling sorry for them,” she said.

You must read 90 families have spent 14 days without electricity in Portuguesa state

The days are spent in unbearable heat, and with mosquitoes, typical of the season. No electricity means no water, as the pumps cannot function either. People have to go to the river and collect their water to drink, because of that, children get stomach sick. Also, there is no cell-phone signal and for those lucky enough to have an electric kitchen, cooking with wood, since the area has also been affected by a domestic gas shortage.

The most affected are the elderly and children who suffer from the high temperatures, which in the area exceeds 35° degrees.

Rural area

The situation not only affects those who live in this area also, the farmers who have their production units in the sector. “They have blocked the road on several occasions, as this Tuesday 4, and rightly so, we support them, but the blockades delay the departure of our produce,” said Maria Rodriguez, who has a farm in the area.

The electrical failure keeps the entire community and anyone who circulates in the area incommunicado. “The signal is lost, and this represents a risk for all of us in the area. If an accident occurs, there is no way to notify or ask for help.”

Rodriguez lamented that this area of the state, where a large quantity of rice-producing, is abandonment by the authorities.

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