It’s been another rough week for residents of St Joseph, who by now must be wondering if their seemingly endless water woes will ever end. No longer do they count in days the length of time they have been without water, they now speak in weeks, or months, and for some, up to a year.
And where was the impact of the water challenges more visible than at the St Joseph Primary School where students could hardly get water to wash their hands far less avail themselves of the bathroom facilities?
To suggest that this situation is untenable is a gross understatement.
And we would hope that by Monday students of that rural primary school will be able to settle down to classes without any further disturbances, be they water shortages or any man-made hazards.
Interestingly, while students in St Joseph were struggling to even get their hands washed, across town students at Eagle Hall Primary School, Deacon’s Primary, as well the Nightengale Children’s Home, were not only basking in the fact that they had running water, but they could also boast to their friends that they had received a personal visit from their constituency representative, Chris Sinckler, who happens to be the Minister of Finance.
And from all reports, Sinckler certainly did not disappoint the students.
In fact, he rode in like Santa Claus, fully laden with books and other goodies to ensure that the school year got off to a rousing start for his young charges.
“We are trying to match the requirements, so during the course of the year the staff would be speaking with people and we would see what is more needed.
Before, we used to just bring stuff and give it out, but working with the parents we are able now to be a little bit more accurate in terms of numbers and requirements,” explained Sinckler, whose St Michael North West Constituency Development Foundation reportedly received a major boost from a Trinidad-based company this year.
In addition parents were given $150 cash vouchers to shop for school uniforms, shoes and bags, by the unnamed company which is involved in the printing business. The Foundation donated about 10,000 exercise books.
And it was interesting to see a school donation in one constituency “easily run into the thousands of dollars”.
Pity that no such spirit lifter could be afforded the students of St Joseph, who were not even offered a calm word of assurance this week from Minister of Education Ronald Jones or his equally rambunctious colleague, the Minister of Water Resources Management, Dr David Estwick. After all, he does not make it rain, does he? This he has already made clear.
Horse doo doo indeed!
We believe that the time has long passed for our ministers of Government, particularly Dr Estwick and Mr Jones to stop palavering and get some serious work done in their respective ministries.
For if they can’t find a solution to water problems at a small rural primary school, where at least a temporary tanker should have been discreetly dispatched since Monday to meet the needs of the students without their plight making national headlines, it is small wonder that we are now faced with a national crisis.
And just like CLICO, let us add for the benefit of the entire Cabinet – not least of all Mr Sinckler – a warmed-over apology after more than seven years of hardship under this administration simply will not suffice.