One of the eighteen schools benefiting under the National Water and Sewerage Authority’s (NAWASA’s) Schools Community Water Storage project, has welcomed the initiative, not just for its impact on the student population but the community effect.
The J.W. Fletcher Catholic Secondary School, which is one of the last to have its tank installed, is excited about being reincluded on the list of Emergency Shelters.
According to Vice Principal of the school Mr. Kwame Hypolit because of the absence of water storage, the school was removed from the list last year. NAWASA installing a 1000-gallon water storage tank at the school, improves its potential for being put back on the list. “We’re a hurricane shelter and we were deregulated sometime last year because we did not have the storage facility” said Mr. Hypolit, who also indicated that “NaDMA putting us provisionally, with the thought of having the tank, we’re rather happy about it so we can continue that outreach that we have for our community and ensuring that we have the necessaries in place for that aspect also”.
About the partnership between NAWASA, NaDMA and CDEMA Mr. Hypolit says “It shows the importance of partnership. It allows agencies to work together”.
With the project now complete, over five thousand students are benefiting directly. Launched in January of this year,it has seen the completion of installation at all the benefiting schools, meaning that schools,which were previously forced to close their doors during stoppages in the supply of water, will no longer be faced with that challenge.
One of the students, who participated in the installation at the J.W. Fletcher Catholic Secondary School, noted the benefit not only to the school but community. “As you know we are a hurricane shelter and as you may know we are in the hurricane season, so we all have to be prepared on a whole. So, we really like to thank NAWASA for supplying us with the tank because it’s not only beneficial to us as students but also to people in the community”.
The last two schools to have their tanks installed were the J.W. Fletcher Catholic Secondary on September 7th, 2018 and Bonair Government September 24th, 2018.
Principal of the Bonair Government School, Mr. Terry Francis, indicated that the installation of the 1000-gallon water storage tank is really important to his school. “I thinks it’s a fantastic initiative because I think schools really need the help now because the ministry by itself, they cannot do it. So, if corporate citizens could come onboard, we think it would do a lot for the schools” he said.
The project also strengthens the capacity of the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA), for the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme in Grenada, with many of the beneficiaries listed by NADMA as designated emergency shelters.
National Disaster Coordinator Superintendent Sylvan McIntyre, was on hand for the installation at the J.W. Fletcher Catholic Secondary School, he lauded the initiative saying “too much praise is not enough to really shower towards this initiative”.
Superintendent McIntyre noted that“For us in disaster management this is a bright moment because it has multiple impact for disaster risk management issues and so in times of crisis, water, we understand, is something of critical importance… and to see that NAWASA is extending its arms towards the schools, it’s an initiative that has to be applauded that should go a very, very, long way and the mere fact that we have the installation of these tanks and protection mechanisms are included in it, it’s also something that the general public could benefit from”.
During periods of excessive rainfall or drought, NAWASA sometimes faces difficulty in providing a continuous supply of water and as a result there are often stoppages in supply throughout the state for varying periods, resulting in school closure as a consequence of this challenge.
Tanks were installed at the Green Street Pre-Primary, Constantine Methodist, Presentation Brothers College, St. Rose Modern Secondary, St. John’s Christian Secondary, Happy Hill Secondary, Grand Roy Government, Concord Government, Vendome R.C, St. Dominic’s R.C, St. Andrew’s School for Special Education, Grenada Christian Academy, Florida Government, Tivoli R.C.,St. Andrew’s Anglican Primary, Telescope Primary, J.W. Fletcher Catholic Secondary and Bonair Government Schools.
The project was completed at a cost of $60,000 Euros.