Fri | Aug 12, 2022

Tanks a lot

US boosts water storage for dozens of schools

Published:Wednesday | June 29, 2022 | 12:11 AM
Fayval Williams (centre), minister of education and youth, is all smiles with N. Nick Perry (right), United States ambassador to Jamaica, and Lieutenant Commander Robert Ramsay Jr, senior defence attached of the US Embassy, during a handover ceremony for a
Fayval Williams (centre), minister of education and youth, is all smiles with N. Nick Perry (right), United States ambassador to Jamaica, and Lieutenant Commander Robert Ramsay Jr, senior defence attached of the US Embassy, during a handover ceremony for a hundred 1,000-gallon water tanks donated by the US Southern Command Humanitarian Assistance Programme to the National Education Trust. The tanks will be distributed to 51 primary schools.

The water storage capacity at 51 schools across Jamaica will be bolstered with the donation of one hundred 1,000-gallon tanks, fixtures, and fittings.

The donation, made by the United States Southern Humanitarian Command Programme (USSHCP) to the National Education Trust (NET), is valued at US$60,000 (J$9,198,606).

Tydixon Primary School in St Catherine will be receiving two of the donated tanks, which are being distributed by Jamaica College.

Principal Carline Bolt-Morgan said she was gratified to have been on the receiving end of good gifts.

The principal said several of Jamaica’s schools are dependent on water harvesting, and truck drivers are never happy to journey to some remote communities because of long distances, ungainly terrain, and uneven roads.

“For us, additional water-storage capacity means longer periods with water to meet the needs of our schools and more hours for contact time for teaching and learning,” Bolt-Morgan said.

Over the years, disruptions in water supply have caused schools to suspend classes.

Minister of Education Fayval Williams said of the country’s 1,000 schools, almost half have water-supply issues.

She welcomed the donation and shared that it will help the ministry to improve the general teaching and learning environments of selected schools.

“It also supports the ministry’s campaign to satisfy the requirements for the safe operation of schools in face-to-face delivery of the curriculum and provide resources to facilitate the teaching and learning environment amid the still lingering effects of the COVID-19 crisis,” Williams said.

Beneficiary schools in Kingston, St Andrew, and St Catherine will be among the first to receive their tanks.

The education minister said some principals have already expressed challenges with getting the tanks delivered because of the hefty quotations they have received.

“We’re going to speak with one of the entities at the ministry that delivers lunches and breakfast to schools to see if they can do the delivery as well,” Williams said.

Each school is set to receive one or two tanks, while six institutions located in Hanover and Westmoreland will each receive three.

In his remarks, US Ambassador N. Nick Perry said promoting handwashing and hygiene in schools is critical, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“This equipment will enhance the capability of schools to keep students healthy and safe. This gift and many other humanitarian programmes offered by the US military over the years is just one component of the strong and continued cooperation between the United States and Jamaica,” Perry said.

judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com

List of beneficiary schools:

Albion Primary

Bethany Primary & Infant

Waterloo Primary & Infant

Accompong Primary

Austin Primary

Beersheba Primary

Russells Primary

Clapham Primary

Nightingale Grove Primary

Carron Hall Primary

Richmond Primary & Infant

Carron Hall Infant

Spring Garden Primary

Minto Primary

Penlyne Castle Primary

Richmond Gap Primary & Infant

Coopers Hill Primary & Infant

Orange Bay Primary

Reach Primary & Infant

Clarksonville All Age

Eccleston Primary & Infant

Epworth Primary

Aboukir High

Linton Park Primary & Infant

Lower Buxton Primary & Infant

First Hill Primary & Infant

Sawyers Primary & Infant

Spring Gardens Primary & Infant

Anderson Town Primary

Long Look Primary

Main Ridge Primary

Elgin Primary

Pindar’s Valley Primary & Infant

Tydixon Primary

Berry Hill Primary

Harewood Primary

Waterford Infant

St Benedict’s Primary

Golden Valley Primary

Whitfield All Age

Halls Delight Primary

Westphalia All-Age

Mount Peto Primary

Upper Rock Spring

Maryland All-Age

Pondside Primary & Infant

New Roads Primary

St Leonard’s Primary

St Paul’s Primary

Moreland Hill Primary

Revival Primary