Students of the Iris Gelly Primary School in Kingston, Jamaica now have access to more water, through the National Education Trust (NET), in partnership with the Japanese Government’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project.
Under the project, a rainwater harvesting system has been installed at the school, providing a sustainable supply of water for the students and staff at the institution.
“The ancillary workers and the children are relieved because they can now come to school and get clean water.”— Principal of Iris Gelly Primary, Veronica Gaynor
It was undertaken with a grant from the Government of Japan, valued at $2.2 million, and funding by the Government of approximately $1 million. The scope of the work included plumbing, the installation of water tanks and a pump.
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The Project seeks to promote education and health by improving sanitary conditions in more than 300 schools across the island, through the installation of water harvesting and sanitation systems to ensure that children, four to 12 years of age, have access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitary toilet and handwashing facilities; and to minimise exposure to mosquito infestation.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Member of Parliament for St. Andrew Southern, Mark Golding, lauded the partnership.
“The idea of promoting the efficient and safe use and harnessing of natural resources in an environmentally sustainable way is a lovely and timely one. I want to thank the Government and people of Japan for their vision and the useful way in which they provide assistance to the developing world,” he said.
Director, Donor and Partnership Management, NET, Latoya Harris, said the Project seeks to ensure that students are provided with the basic amenities that positively impact and improve the education sector.
Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Japan, Shotoku Habukawa, said with a reliable water harvesting system in place, the project will have a lasting impact for future generations of students, and the community will have an improved school environment.
“The Government of Japan has purposefully put our focus on providing assistance to Jamaica’s education, health and water sectors, because it is our strong belief that all persons should be protected and empowered,” he said.
For her part, Principal of Iris Gelly Primary, Veronica Gaynor, said since the system was installed a month ago, the school environment has been significantly improved for both students and staff.
“The ancillary workers and the children are relieved because they can now come to school and get clean water. It has been good for us and we envisage that it will continue for the future,” she said.