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Travel - Do the islands get many power cuts?

Power cuts

Some of the islands suffer more than others, in the past there were often regular power cuts which could last for a few hours and in some cases days.

During power cuts those people in buildings without working electrical pumps or a generator would usually re-use empty 5ltr water bottles and fill them with sea water or re-use waste water to flush toilets. Those that have running water may re-use empty water bottles by filling them with tap water and storing them, ready to use during a power cut for washing or cooking purposes.

Some of the larger resorts and hotels will have their own generators to make sure they can remain open and fully operational.

Some restaurants and bars will close if prolonged period of no power as they will not have running water to flush toilets, or prepare and cook food or wash up afterwards. Buying frozen food at shops with no generator during and following power cuts should be considered carefully, some local shops have been known to re-freeze meats.

Things are improving with fewer power cuts on islands such as on Sal, than on other islands.

Archive News article from 2011: NEWS : ASEMANA

A dark, filthy week in Cape Verde 02 June 2011
The current week is proving dark and dirty for many Cape Verdeans. Without water or even electricity, the inhabitants of various corners of the country are having trouble satisfying some of their basic needs or meeting professional commitments.

Drinking water remained, for the most past, absent from the faucets of homes in most of the neighborhoods in Praia, even though water and electricity utility Electra had promised to resolve the water supply problem before last Saturday with a brand-new network. But when distribution was started up again after six days of total dryness, the largest of the desalinization units in the Palmarejo station broke down, leaving more than 100,000 people in despair and unable to carry out basic activities such as taking a bath, washing their laundry or cleaning their homes. To make matters worse, the capital city has been experiencing prolonged blackouts since yesterday.

In Porto Novo, on the island of Santo Antão, water also disappeared from taps, and residents of the city resorted to natural springs in the island’s highlands for their supplies. A deficit of more than 93 million escudos led the company responsible for water production, Águas de Porto Novo, to suspend the supply of the liquid to the Porto Novo municipal chamber’s Autonomous Water Service, with the city’s inhabitants paying the price of the dispute between the two entities. Fortunately, the problem was resolved ion Tuesday after the forced five-day dry spell. As if this weren’t enough, Electra is now threatening to cut off electricity to the municipality because it lacks money to purchase fuel for the generators at its power station.

If in Porto Novo the specter of blackouts is still just a looming possibility, in São Vicente and Santa Catarina electricity has been cut off for hours at a time on several occasions so far this week. The company needs more than 100 million escudos a week to acquire fuel for its power stations, but its revenues are considerably below this quantity, and the subsidies previously paid by the state to make up for the deficit have been suspended.

Meanwhile, Electra’s production director for the northern islands, Hipólito Gomes, has tried to reassure Cape Verdeans, promising that, at least on the level of electricity production and distribution, there will be no more blackouts due to lack of fuel in the coming days.


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