Sun | Dec 10, 2017

Earth Today | Clarendon students to get water security

Published:Thursday | November 9, 2017 | 12:00 AM
A section of the Mount Airy Primary and Infant School garden.

ACCESS TO water has always been a challenge for students of Mount Airy Primary and Infant School in Mocho, Clarendon.

The tank at the school is insufficient to meet the needs of the 121 students and 13 members of staff, not to mention community members.

But in six months' time, that will change when the school completes construction of a 20,000-gallon Ferro-cement tank and the upgrade of its guttering system, and installs a solar-powered water pump.

This is thanks to grant funding from the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ), which administers the Special Climate Change Adaptation Fund on behalf of the Adaptation Programme and Finance Mechanism.

The school was one of 51 community and civil society grantees who received funds from the EFJ.

"We are very happy to have received the grant. It will make us better prepared for the dry season. We will no longer have to send home students during the dry times because we have no water," said principal Madelyn Edwards.

"Because we are fixing the gutters as well - we can now catch water. Before, we didn't have proper gutters and the rain would fall and the water would be wasted. With more water, we can take care of our school garden (which) will boost the students' nutrition and cut our grocery bill," she explained.

Edwards was one of the grantees filling the meeting room at the New Kingston Business Centre on Tuesday, October 24, when representatives of the 51 community-based and non-governmental organisations signed their grants with the EFJ.

Successful applicants hailed from 13 parishes, with over half from Manchester, Clarendon, and St Andrew. Seventy per cent of the grants were for climate-resilient cropping systems, water management and agro-processing, with several, including renewable energy solutions.