Health crisis looms

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Pinnock points to the overflowing pile of garbage while explaining that recently, the carcass of a dog from the community was dumped there. - AL photo
  • Basic school under threat

Michael Nattoo/Alan Lewin

Residents of the community of Felicity, Montego Bay, led by Principal of the Albion Basic School, Calmin Pinnock, are calling on the authorities to address a vexing situation in that community relating to the wanton disposal of garbage, which includes dead animals, in close proximity to the school’s grounds.

In an interview with the Western Mirror, Principal Pinnock highlighted what she said was a growing a problem which involves some residents dumping their garbage near the gate of the school.

In further expressing her disgust, Pinnock revealed that closer inspection of the makeshift dump site just in front of the school also revealed garbage-covered carcasses of animals from the community.

“I had to close the school for three days because someone dumped the body of a dead dog in the receptacle,” Pinnock explained, citing that students and administrators found it extremely difficult to focus under such circumstances. The receptacle, she added, was recently constructed by Councillor for the Glendevon Division, Leroy Williams.

“This receptacle is for the school only. It was built last year by Councillor Leroy Williams to accommodate the school refuse, but people from all over are coming to dispose of their garbage in it.

In the case of the dead dog, the stench was so unbearable that it was a parent who had to come and remove and burn it so that school could resume,” she relayed.

She continued: “This is certainly not good for us, especially the children.” The improper garbage disposal has also seen an increase in rodents in the area, and with the school being mere metres away from the dumpsite, it may not be long before they make their way to the inner parts of the school, and in direct contact with students and administrators. It is for those reasons why Pinnock is pleading with the authorities. “We are looking at a potential health crisis developing here, so we need the relevant authorities to move in and take charge.”

CONDITIONS RIPE FOR DENGUE

The health hazards do no stop there. Opposite the pedestrian crossing and next to the school gate, a hole filled with stagnant, murky waters has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and with a Dengue outbreak being experienced in certain parts of the parish, Pinnock needs that situation to be addressed immediately.

Additionally, according to Principal Pinnock, “There is no sidewalk for the children to walk on. They have to walk in the street as a result and that’s dangerous, as cars could hit them one day. I am calling on the Member of Parliament, Dr. Horace Chang, to look into the matter and speed up the process involving adding sidewalks in the area. Many children travel to and from school, and they could use those. The Felicity to Blood Lane sidewalk needs to be dealt with,” she shared.

Principal Pinnock is not alone in her pleas, as Justice of the Peace in the area, Orlen Deers, is also calling for help. “We are appealing to the residents to desist from dumping at the school receptacle and we are calling on the authorities to move swiftly in addressing these issues,” Deers concluded.

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