Fri | May 26, 2017

OCA sounds warning

Published:Sunday | March 15, 2015 | 3:00 AM
A parent rushes his daughter from the George Headley Primary School, to the doctor after the smoke caused her to faint in her classroom last Friday.

The Office of The Children's Advocate (OCA) has warned that the frequent fires at the Riverton City Dump are having a disastrous impact on the health and education of scores of children across the Corporate Area and St Catherine.

"As Children's Advocate, I am particularly concerned about the health hazard that this situation poses, and the negative impact it can have on children's respiratory health and overall well-being," said Diahann Gordon Harrison.

"The fact also of the interruption to their education is not to be overlooked, especially at a time when final preparations are in earnest for the upcoming Grade Six Achievement Test and other critical examinations.

"These fires at the landfill seem to occur quite frequently, and they result in the deleterious impact of the disruption of schools, and our children having to seek medical attention for respiratory ailments that are oftentimes exacerbated by the air quality caused by the smoke emitting from the landfill during the fires," added Gordon Harrison.

"The OCA trusts that the relevant stakeholders will contain the problem within the time frame as outlined in the permit for the management of the Riverton Landfill issued by the National Environment and Planning Agency, as the continuous closure of schools and other educational facilities which cater to our children cannot continue.

"The health hazard is also of great concern. Under the Child Care and Protection Act, children have a right to a safe and healthy environment, and all measures must be implemented to safeguard this right."