Classes re­sume at Belle­vue Pri­mary; wa­ter short­age looms

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOMETHING EXTRA - Gareth Davis Sr Gleaner Writer

BELLE­VUE, Port­land: AF­TER NEARLY two weeks of sus­pen­sion be­cause of mul­ti­ple land slip­pages, classes have re­sumed at Belle­vue Pri­mary School in the Rio Grande Val­ley of Port­land – with a 90 per cent turnout of stu­dents.

The re­sump­tion of classes at that in­sti­tu­tion comes against the back­ground of the clear­ing away of dirt, fallen trees, and other de­bris by the Na­tional Works Agency (NWA) on Sun­day. The main thor­ough­fare lead­ing into that com­mu­nity was blocked for the bet­ter part of 12 days fol­low­ing six days of heavy rain­fall.

“Nor­mal­ity has re­turned some­what,” said Her­man Reid, prin­ci­pal of the school.

“We had a full com­ple­ment of stu­dents turn­ing out for grades five and six, about 70 per cent for grade four, and for grades one, two and three, it was down to about 30 per cent. I be­lieve that some par­ents are a bit re­luc­tant in send­ing out their chil­dren to school as a re­sult of the on­go­ing rain­fall, which is com­pounded by wet and slip­pery con­di­tions. My staff com­ple­ment was 100 per cent.”

WA­TER IN STOR­AGE

He said, though, that they had no elec­tric­ity and “some amount of wa­ter in stor­age”.

Ac­cord­ing to the prin­ci­pal, a metal tank near the front of the school con­tains enough wa­ter for the next two weeks. How­ever, with all the stu­dents ex­pected later this week and be­yond, the amount of wa­ter in the stor­age tank could be se­verely de­pleted.

Added the prin­ci­pal: “There are in­stances where res­i­dents who are with­out wa­ter for their do­mes­tic use col­lect from the stor­age tank, which could pose a se­ri­ous prob­lem for us at the school. There­fore, I will have to be mon­i­tor­ing the wa­ter sit­u­a­tion closely, so as to pre­vent a cri­sis.

“We will be able to run our can­teen and stu­dents will be able to use the bath­room, but plans will have to be put in place to deal with the short­age of wa­ter if that be­comes a re­al­ity.”

And coun­cil­lor for the area, Benny White, told The Gleaner yes­ter­day that he would be care­fully mon­i­tor­ing the wa­ter sit­u­a­tion at the school.

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