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Published:Saturday | March 6, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Bathroom revamp at New Broughton Primary

NEW BROUGHTON, Manchester:

Just when the students and teachers of New Broughton Primary School were becoming increasingly disheartened about using unsanitary pit latrines, the Japanese Embassy and charity organisation Food For The Poor teamed up to provide the institution with modern bathrooms.

The newly constructed sanitary facility has replaced the unhygienic and unsafe pit latrines, which have been in existence since the school was established some 57 years ago.

"I am so elated for this donation because students, teachers and parents were becoming quite discouraged at the sight and smell of the pit latrines, especially during the rainy season," stated Fitzroy Francis.

According to Francis, the school administration was not financially able to construct proper bathrooms for the students, aged six to 12.

Explaining the benefits for the 112 enrolled students, Francis said, "The bathrooms will have a profound impact on the sanitation and health of the student population. They will feel more comfortable and secure.

Attendance will definitely improve and the teaching-learning process will be enhanced," he added.

The facility, with male and female partitioning, is equipped with seven toilets, four washbasins and a urinal. New Broughton Primary School represents one of 10 schools that will receive sanitation upgrades courtesy of a grant that was handed over to Food For The Poor in October 2009 by the Japanese Embassy.

Broadleaf residents benefit from health fair

MAY PEN, Clarendon:

More than 100 residents of Broadleaf and surrounding communities in Manchester benefited from a health fair hosted by bauxite company Jamalco at the Broadleaf Primary School recently. The health fair was organised by Community Relations Officer Errol Davy in collaboration with Jamalco's Medical Department.

The Jamalco medical team offered health checks and counselling to the residents and reported that diabetes, hypertension and raised cholesterol levels were major health issues highlighted.

Fifty-seven of the attendees were hypertensive, 28 diabetic and 24 had elevated cholesterol levels. Thirteen persons were referred to the hospital while nine were referred to private doctors. The team also checked the vision of 93 persons, 41 of whom were referred to the Lions Sight Clinic in the parish.

Participants who benefited from the health fair expressed gratitude to Jamalco for the medical assistance as many said they were unable to pay for a private doctor's visit or wait in long queues at public hospitals or health centres.

The health fair is one of several planned by the bauxite company this year to assist residents of its host communities in Clarendon and Manchester.

- George Henry

Railway lands up for sale


Cabinet has given approval for the Ministry of Transport and Works to sell lands owned by the Jamaica Railway Corporation (JRC) which are not required for the operation of the railway. The estimated value of the lands is $445.6 million.

Information Minister Daryl Vaz said the provision of railway facilities and other services to West Indies Alumina Company (Windalco), and the bauxite sector in general, has been a key revenue-earning activity of the JRC since the closure of the railway in October 1992.

He said the present crisis in the bauxite sector has crippled the ability of the JRC to operate as a self-financing entity and the corporation has been further affected by the decision of Windalco to suspend its operations for 18-24 months with effect from March 1 last year.

Vaz was speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing on Wednesday.