Students and staff of the Lethe Primary and Infant School in St. James will have access to improved sanitation facilities under a project being undertaken by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).
The entity, under the Integrated Community Development Project – Phase 2 (ICDP II), is providing $12.3 million to rehabilitate the institution’s sanitation block, including upgrading of toilets and other bathroom amenities, roof repair, and building of bases for water storage tanks.
The scope of work also involves rehabilitation of recreational space/play area and addressing leaks along the overhead linkway.
The project is being undertaken through partnership with the Lethe Community Development Committee (CDC), which is contributing $200,000, and the Ministry of Education and Youth.
Rehabilitation of the sanitisation block will benefit some 145 students, eight teachers and four auxiliary staff members.
Speaking during the ground-breaking ceremony on June 30, Senior Manager for Social Development at the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Mona Sue Ho, noted that the work will provide a more comfortable environment to support learning.
For her part, Regional Director at the Ministry of Education and Youth – Region Four, Dr. Michelle Pinnock, said that the Ministry welcomes the intervention by JSIF.
“This project…will go a far way in addressing some of the more urgent infrastructural needs at this institution, which is over 70 years old,” she noted.
“Over the years, there have been a number of interventions, which have resulted in improvements in amenities, and contributed to an environment more conducive to teaching and learning. However, there still remains some challenges and JSIF has joined us to address [them],” Dr. Pinnock outlined.
She added that the completion of the project will provide a favourable environment for the growth of children at the school.
For his part, Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Homer Davis, who is also the Member of Parliament for Southern St. James, lauded JSIF for the implementation of the project.
“As we break ground for the construction of this new sanitation block at Lethe Primary, I am putting the contractor on notice [that] I will be paying full attention during the construction phase, and I would recommend that the skilled workers from this area be engaged in this project.
“But most importantly, the work must be carried out in a harmonious atmosphere where there is no disruption on the work site and the rights of the workers must be respected,” Mr. Davis said.
As part of the day’s proceedings, JSIF also officially handed over two green spaces to the Lethe and Bickersteth Primary and Infant Schools in the parish.
The agency also broke ground for the Safe Passage Project, which will be implemented at Bickersteth Primary and Infant School.