28 Jul 2008

Call for Solomons government agencies to clear electricity debt to take pressure off the public

4:24 pm on 28 July 2008

A Non-Governmental Organisation in Solomon Islands says many people can't afford to pay for their electricity because of rising power and living costs.

In addition, the Electricity Authority owes millions to its fuel suppliers because private, government and commercial customers frequently fail to pay their bills.

After an emergency meeting with the Electricity Minister last week, the Authority threatened to disconnect the power of those who don't pay.

But the National Council of Women's Sarah Dyer says the power charges are too high for many familes.

"Living costs here in the Solomons are so expensive. People can't afford [their power] with the little money they get. It all gets back to government-state owned enterprises, the government itself - they haven't been paying. If they would pay for their bills, it wouldn't affect everybody else."

DUR: 19

Sarah Dyer says many people use kerosene lamps to light their homes, because they can't afford electricity.