Flooding issue has school staff up to their necks in frustration
Mop buckets collecting water in one school's staff room.
"Enough is enough!"
As Barbadians and tourists on the island come to grips with the random downpours and short hours of intense rains which lead to flash floods, some primary schools are drowning under the number of leaks in the roofs of their plants.
Sounding an alarm today (October 28) is the President of the Barbados Union of Teachers (BUT), Pedro Welch.
Barbados was under a Flash Flood Watch from 9:30 am to midday today, and in that three-hour window, leaky staff rooms, offices and classrooms brought business as usual to a screeching halt.
"The Wilkie Cumberbatch Primary School in The Pine is a perfect example of that [a school with a leaking roof]. The staffroom, Principal’s Office, Clerk/Typist Room, School Meals serving area, Janitor’s quarters and several classrooms are drenched as I speak.
"Enough is enough! Are we going to wait until a roof collapses on someone to fix this perennial problem?"
He went on to highlight, "At St George Primary leaking roofs on the plant and flooding when the rain falls as well." But he said their situation has added dangers. "Classrooms there are saturated with water which flows in from the corridors, persons are being shocked from light switches from faulty circuitry as well."
Photo caption: Containers catching water from the leaking roof in a classroom.
Shepherd lamented that "many of our schools are suffering from a lack of attention". Of note, he added that some are also struggling with issues such as a shortage of furniture, insufficient general workers and Internet connectivity, which is crucial in this post-COVID-19 and blended approach era.
Editor's Note: Since midday, after this article was published, the Flash Flood Watch was extended to 6pm.