By:Curtis Morton

Gingerland –Nevis- Project Coordinator at the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF), Mr. Alsted Pemberton, in delivering opening remarks at a very significant ceremony held at the Joycelyn Liburd Primary School (JLPS), on Monday 9th January, indicated that the project to renovate the bathroom facilities at the school and related infrastructure, was funded by the Caribbean Central Bank (CDB) in collaboration with the BNTF and the Nevis Island Administration.

In making remarks at the ceremony, which was effectively used to officially hand over the newly renovated facilities to the school, he noted that BNTF is all about poverty alleviation, socio-economic transformation, community empowerment and sustainable development.

He stated that this was one of five projects listed under the Education and Human Development portfolio for the BNTF 7 program and coded the BNTF’s intervention as timely as the condition of the school’s bathrooms ‘left a lot to be desired.’

He stressed on the importance of safe water and the need for sanitary facilities which will lead to good health and facilitate an environment of learning.

Also addressing the gathering was BNTF’s Community Liaison Officer, Mr. Lemuel Pemberton, who gave an overview of the project.

He indicated that the renovations were proposed since 2013 but funding was not readily available, hence the work had to be done in three phases. These phases included: Addition to the school, construction of a cafeteria and the bathroom renovations. The other two phases took priority over the bathroom renovations.

The bathroom renovation phase eventually commenced in the final quarter of 2016 and was completed during the Christmas vacation period.

He noted that prior to the renovations, the facilities were in a deplorable condition, with some of the fixtures being actually outdated and would have been put in place since the building was first constructed in the 1970’s.

He stated that so far $234,005.43 have been spent so far on the school’s renovation project.

An obviously grateful, Principal Education officer, Mrs. Palsy Wilkin, stated that it was an honour for her and her department to accept the renovated facilities at the school and noted that due to the fact that the school was built since the 1970’s, the renovations were long overdue.

She pointed to the importance of government partnering with agencies such as BNTF, in order to acquire the significant sums required to deal with such issues. She thanked the entire BNTF team and all who helped to bring the project to fruition and implored the staff and students at the school, to take care of the facilities.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development, Mr. Keith Glasgow, represented Minister, Hon. Hazel Brandy –Williams, in giving brief remarks.

He praised the work put in by the BNTF officials at both the Nevis and St.Kitts offices and noted that although the work took a little while to be completed, that BNTF was very meticulous in their delivery and had to ensure that everything was done well.

He noted that the eventual impact on the community created by such projects, is worth the wait.

The vote of thanks was given by the school’s Principal, Miss Barbara Hendrickson and the rededication and blessing of the new facility was conducted by Dr. Alston Percival.

The keys were officially handed over to the Principal of the school by the Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams and then all present were treated to a tour of the newly renovated facilities.

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