Essex Primary gets $3M rainwater harvesting system

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Pearnel Charles Jr (fourth right), celebrates with staff and students of the Essex Hall Primary School at the official handover of a new rainwater harvesting system.

Principal of Essex Hall Primary School, Maxine Lewis, is grateful for the new rainwater harvesting system at the institution.

The system was constructed by Rural Water Supply Limited (RWSL) at a cost of approximately $3 million.

Lewis says the system, installed before the start of the new academic year in September, has ensured reliable access to safe water for the proper running of the school. It includes a 10,000-gallon storage tank, gutters and pipelines.

“I am very elated about this water project — overjoyed. I don’t even have words to describe how I feel. Now there is water in the pipes in the bathrooms. We had to use buckets to flush the toilets, but this has made a difference in the children’s lives and in teaching them how to practise proper hygiene by flushing toilets and washing their hands,” she says.

The school located in the hills of West Rural St Andrew, had faced a water shortage for many years, as it does not have access to piped water. Previously, seven water tanks — three of which were provided by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) — were the only source of water for the small school population.

These tanks had to be filled regularly by the National Water Commission (NWC) and other providers, bur the trucks were not able to deliver the commodity on time and the school would be without water for days.