Basic schools get solar-powered wastewater systems

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THE University of the West Indies (the UWI), Mona, through the Mona Social Services (MSS), handed over wastewater management systems powered by solar energy and re-established kitchen gardens to two basic schools in August Town on Wednesday.

The ceremony was held at the August Town Seventh-day Adventist Church and the initiative was made possible by a $5-million fund received through the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica from the Special Climate Change Adaptation Fund — AP&FM Project Pilot Programme for Climate Change, which was funded by the Inter-American Development Bank.

The wastewater management systems is an extension of the MSS’ Kitchen Garden Project which started in 2013 and includes planting vegetables that will bring nutritional value to the meals provided to the students. The project’s purpose is to increase resilience to climate change and provide food security to the schools. Approximately 200 residents benefit indirectly, while 99 staff and students of the basic schools are direct beneficiaries of this project.

The handover ceremony featured addresses from Professor Ian Boxil, deputy principal of The University of the West Indies (the UWI), Mona; Dr Olivene Burke, executive director, Mona Social Services, UWI; Garfield Thomas, who represented councillor Venesha Phillips; Charmaine Webber, programme officer, Environmental Foundation of Jamaica; Denise Forrest, Lions Club of Mona, partners of the initiative; and Gregory Chin Loy, manager, Isratech Waterworks, Isratech Jamaica Limited.

Principals of the basic schools Latrieka Murray of the August Town SDA Basic and Marvalyn Young of Hermitage Basic both saw the value of having the systems.

Murray said, “It is a good way for watering the garden, it is effective and I would recommended it for others.”

Said Young: “I think is a good initiative, in this area there is a water problem and I can see where it is a good venture.”

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