Regional

Thwaites: Pit latrines will be history by 2016

Monday, August 25, 2014    

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ROSE HALL, St James — Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites says that pit latrines in public schools will be a thing of the past by the end of 2015.

Addressing teachers at the opening of the 50th annual conference of the Jamaica Teachers' Association (JTA) in St James on Thursday, the minister thanked the educators for jolting the Government into the realisation that the days of pit latrines are long gone.

"Thank you JTA and your leadership for pointing out that the time has passed for pit latrines in schools. Thank you, it is one that we have picked up and carried further as we must and only can, and therefore I'm to assure you that we are under the mandate of the prime minister that, by the end of next year, there should be no pit latrine in school's where there are supplies of water," Thwaites told the teachers who gathered at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa for the three-day event.

But Thwaites said the elimination of pit latrines cannot be done without outside partnerships from organisations like Food for the Poor (FFP). Partnerships, he emphasised, are the way forward.

"They (FFP) have recently signed a contract with the Government of Jamaica for more than $100 million so that they can, at a reduced cost, bring water closets into some 50 of the 200 [schools affected]," Thwaites explained.

"Partnerships are the way forward in every aspect of Jamaican life and we who are educators must be the heralds of that principle and its constant evangelisers," added Thwaites.

— Anthony Lewis

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