EXPAT pensioners living in a rural urbanisation in Jalon on the Costa Blanca are struggling without piped water and electricity after Iberdrola cut off their supply in mid-January this year.
Residents, some over 80 years old, have been surviving off petrol-powered electricity generators after the Spanish electricity giant deemed their supply ‘unsafe’.
Iberdrola technicians reportedly arrived without warning in mid-January to cut off the Solana urbanisation’s mains access.
The cluster of 20 houses in hills near Jalon is over 30 years old, and residents have enjoyed piped water extracted from an electric-operated borehole until now.
“Unfortunately this morning we had a forest fire near one of the houses, and the owner used the few litres of water he had to keep it away until the Bomberos arrived,” Solana resident Chris Parsons, 68, told the Olive Press.
“If the wind had been stronger I don’t think we would’ve saved his house.”
Chris said a British woman in her 60s was ‘strip washing’ using water saved in her bath tub until packing up back to England over the stress.
He said another resident aged 82 has just come out of hospital following a hip replacement, and has no piped water or electricity to facilitate his recovery.
Others can’t run their showers or washing machines and are needing to travel into town to ask friends to help with their laundry.
“The electricity supply was installed by the urbanisation’s promoter over 30 years ago, but the contractors went bust and the banks bought up the surrounding land,” Chris said.
“The residents can’t afford to pay for infrastructure, the town hall won’t pay for it, and no developer wants to come up here and install any.
“Whether Iberdrola are right or wrong about the safety, the fact they just came in and turned it off is really third world – imagine if someone up here was on oxygen or needed dialysis?
“We all pay SUMA up here [€300-400 annually] but we’ve had no interest in development from the town hall.
“It’s an eye opener for anyone buying in Spain about how quickly things can deteriorate.”
Chris said most residents either ‘lost’ the food in their fridge, or scrambled to buy a petrol-operated generator to run in the mornings, afternoons and evenings – at a personal cost of €300-400.
He said solar panels have been mooted as a solution, however residents fear the town hall may require them to foot the bill of safer mains installations.
“Residents don’t want to install €15,000’s worth of solar panels and then have to double dip and pay for mains installations,” Chris said.
He said meetings with the town hall are due next week where the Solana urbanisation’s association has requested a lawyer attend and fight for their case.
According to Chris, the latest word from this lawyer is that ‘unless residents agree to pay for installation of a complete infrastructure the urbanisation will be deleted from the Iberdrola supply list and power be terminated permanently’.
Currently 20 houses have no water and 13 houses have neither water nor electricity.
Anyone with any advice is urged to contact the Urbanizacion La Solana SA association.
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