Akon Says He Could Have Had Power Back In Puerto Rico In 30 Days, If The Government Hadn't Rejected His Plan
The artist says "politics, propaganda and special interests" got in the way.
Akon recently told TMZ that he had a plan to completely restore Puerto Rico's power in 30 days, but that the U.S. government refused to allow him to execute it.
The devasting Hurricane Maria flooded Puerto Rico in September 2017, leaving widespread destruction, and many people without electricity. Five months after the disaster, only about 83 percent of the U.S. territory has power.
“We actually presented a program for Puerto Rico and we got rejected," Akon told TMZ. "We have the solution for Puerto Rico, clearly. We would’ve had power up in less than 30 days and they rejected us.”
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Akon isn't making empty promises. He has the results to back up his 30-day boast; his organization Akon Lighting Africa, provided electricity to 16 African nations in 2016, leaning heavily on renewal power from solar technology.
When asked about why his proposal was denied, given this track record, the artist said he felt it was all because of "politics, propaganda and special interests. They didn’t care about the people — if that was the case, they would have allowed us to go in and provide the solution."
The commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lieutenant General Todd Semonite, said that full power should be resorted to Puerto Rico by the end of March, and that his engineers are working as fast as they can.
Newsweek reports that Semonite said, "I am not satisfied that people in Puerto Rico should have to wait that much time for power. But I am telling you, there are no other knobs I can turn to go any faster."