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20,000 Gallon Tank Installed at Albert Town High

A Jamaica Gleaner Article

A new 20,000-gallon tank and various rainwater-harvesting mechanisms have been installed at Albert Town High School in Trelawny to address the longstanding water issues faced by the institution.

Senator Matthew Samuda, minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, officially commissioned the $4.5-million investment into service on Thursday.

The upgrade was spearheaded by Rural Water Supply Limited, which also laid 350 feet of pipe, installed guttering, and donated eight black tanks and a pumping system.

This project should serve more than 800 students, as well as teaching and ancillary staff at the school, where the water storage capacity has been increased to 50,000 gallons.

“We (Government) will make the investments in the capacity of water storage right across the length and breadth of this country, especially in rural schools, to ensure that not an hour of learning loss can be attributed to water supply,” said Samuda.

He emphasised the importance of investing in the water tank and harvesting system at the school, noting that it is an investment in “the future of this nation”. He also lauded the team from Rural Water for working around the clock to ensure that the project was properly executed.

“Today is a milestone because it reflects that the team from Rural Water has done something right. It has invested in the children and the future of Albert Town through this water investment in this space,” Samuda outlined.

“Also, the water policy unit at the ministry is working around the clock to ensure that what we have done here at the school level is going to now translate at the household level,” he added.

Janice Skeen-Miller, acting principal of Albert Town High School, explained that the addition of 20,000 gallons will alleviate the need to purchase water at $40,000 per load from Falmouth or Christiana, Manchester.

“I am very grateful for this initiative, and I am very confident that it will serve to benefit us as teachers and the student body. The teachers and students will use it and be grateful,” Skeen-Miller said.

Mayor of Falmouth Collen Gager said the valuable contribution will positively impact the lives of students and school staff, as projects of this nature hold significant value to rural communities.

“Thank you for giving us this great gift, we appreciate it,” he added.