BVI News

Outrage! Crafts Alive without electricity for months, vendor says

Bazz Natural Juices shop at Craft Alive in Road Town.

A shop owner at the Crafts Alive Village has described as “terrible” the conditions under which he is forced to conduct business since electricity has been disconnected to the area for more than three months.

Abdul Shabazz, a fruit smoothie vendor at the village, said shop owners have had to resort to using generators to power their businesses in the interim, and this, coupled with COVID-19 issues in the BVI, has affected his business immensely.

Shabazz, whose business heavily depends on having reliable electricity to power blenders and an all-important refrigerator/freezer, further said he’s asked City Manager Janice Brathwaite-Edwards for a letter of consent to set up his own electrical meter and connection at his shop but hasn’t received permission to do so.

“I don’t know what the problem is with the light bill and whatever but this is very, very unfair,” the clearly infuriated shop owner complained.

He pleaded in a recent interview on ZBVI for the City Manager to address his concerns urgently and decried the fact that no one was listening to the cries of the Crafts Alive vendors.

“We can install our own [electrical] meter if that’s the problem. I don’t know if they want the plaza closed. But if they want it closed, they should say something so that we could move on to something else,” Shabazz further said.

He argued that the vendors at the village are not animals and deserved a response to their cries for help.

“I don’t know what I do. I giveaway more than I sell in this country, so I don’t know what the problem is,” added Shabazz who said business has declined by 90 percent since the pandemic.

Electricity not disconnected for three months

Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary in the Ministry of Works & Utilities, Andrew St Hilaire, refuted claims that the village’s electricity was disconnected continuously for three months. He noted that it had been reconnected after payments had been made but disconnected again when payments stopped.

He explained that the village is currently under the Wickhams Cay Development Authority (WCDA) which manages such facilities within the city and related that the village is serviced by a single electrical meter, and not individual meters for each shop.

“That is up-kept by the vendors playing their part as tenants within the Crafts Alive [Village],” St Hilaire said.

He expressed that due to the COVID-19 situation in the territory, things have been very slow at Crafts Alive.

The Deputy Secretary further said he is now looking into the matter of outstanding utility bill payments with the BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC).

He said while he was looking into rectifying the arrears that are now between two statutory bodies – the BVIEC and WCDA – he could not say when electricity would be restored to the site as this was entirely up to the discretion of the BVIEC, once a satisfactory payment arrangement has been made.

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28 Comments

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  1. SUE says:

    You can sue for breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment. Get a lawyer

    Like 9
    Dislike 7
  2. What!!!! says:

    And how many still owe rent??
    From long before Covid.

    Like 49
    Dislike 1
  3. Simply says:

    No rent No service.

    Like 34
  4. Please says:

    these vendors arent paying their rent and complaining about electricity. They want everything free. Dont get me wrong Shabazz and I are good, but these vendors need to pay their rent so government can pay the light bill. This is only practical.

    Like 37
  5. Okay says:

    They need to be honest and say that they haven’t paid rent.

    Like 22
    Dislike 1
  6. SMH says:

    This is TERRIBLE!!! By the Way? Why Road Town has a City Manager? Transparency Please! 4TH District Rep. has it made.

    Like 7
    Dislike 9
  7. js says:

    if the vendors would pay them rent…

    Like 18
  8. Busy Bee says:

    The smoothie shop has been there donkeys years.
    The shop has been open throughout the pst 14 months.
    If the government wants them out, say so.
    If their lease includes electricity, then the lessor is at fault.
    Withholding rent for lack of electrical power is therefore justified.
    “Looking into it.” is bureaucracy-speak for “Now I’m just BS-ing you.”

    Like 4
    Dislike 4
    • Smh says:

      You must be the only person who doesnt know that those vendors are delinquent in paying their rent, and that is from long before COVID. The Government need to have each unit apply for their own electricity instead of continuing to give them free rent and electricity. BAM!

  9. plenty shop on the same meter.. says:

    it must have problems if some dont pay. Need separate meters. Let Shabazz have a separate meter

    Like 15
  10. Mestizo says:

    he was supposed to evict all those who did not pay, but the politicians prevented those people from being evicted.now what is the cry about???

    Like 19
  11. Anonymous says:

    These wicked people have the cheapest rent in town and can’t pay making excuses about no tourist while still given the opportunity to use the kiosk. Mark played with them trying to be a friend instead of being an action man now they think they own the place.

    Like 13
  12. Not fair says:

    It is not fair on those booths that are paying their rent that those who are not are causing the lack of electricity. NOT AT ALL. The government should have booted out the delinquent payers a LONG TIME AGO! Give the man his own meter!

    Like 13
  13. BuzzBvi says:

    Are people there paying their now?

  14. Irma says:

    Those Crafts Alive buildings withstood Irma better than most government buildings in Road Town. Perhaps these sturdy little buildings should become government offices since there are few tourists here this year.

    Like 2
    Dislike 1
  15. ex supplier says:

    Why should Bazz suffer as a result of the rest of those tennents. The vast majority of them dont keep up with their rent and try not to pay their suppliers. Set of thieves

    Like 4
    Dislike 1
  16. See Stuff says:

    Squatters are afforded electricity?
    No shame in allyo game,set of shameless parasites.

  17. Da real belonger says:

    If sk**ts do not pay, den dey lose da powa! PLAIN AND SIMPLE. Id da meter ain’t turnin… den no sk**t is earnin!

  18. Rass!@ says:

    Dim Sk**t tickles!

  19. Tola says:

    How much them owe

  20. Talk says:

    They need pay them rent

  21. No Electricity says:

    They don’t need electricity, they operate in the daylight but they need to pay their rent. If they really needed electricity they would be gone.

  22. MY GOODNESS says:

    YOU CANARIES FINALLY GET A CHANCE TO HOLLER OUT AGAIN / I WISH ALL THAT ENERGY WOULD HAVE BEEN FOCOUS ON HELPING THOSE WHO ARE TRYING TO MAKE AN HONEST LIVING / BUT THE STIMULUS MONEY WENT INTO THE FRIENDS POCKETS / THATS REALLY WONDERFUL

  23. No says:

    If this guy pays his rent, then the issue has to be something else. What mark do or didn’t do has nothing to do with a local man that is trying to make a living. Something weird going on here. Deal with each man based on his condition amd don’t generalize . Are you folks saying no one paid rent? Ok. If he paid his rent then he has all right. While I am unaware of the problem, as a local business that supports culture and tourist product he should be supported . What is going on ?

  24. No Light says:

    Pay your darn rent, all of you cheap squatters living off the Government. Do not turn on the lights until you receive all the rent they owe. Couple hundred a month rent they refused to pay. Set of blood sucking creatures.

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