Basseterre, St Kitts, September 9, 2019 – While staff and students of the Cayon High School stayed far away from the buildings for the second week on Monday, workmen were inside cleaning the facility of mold, in contrast to a similar recommendation from a local, two regional and an international in relation to the Basseterre High School.
Workmen were seen wearing white protective gear in one of the buildings on the compound of the Cayon High School which remained off limits to students and staff due to a mold infestation.
A van and a mobile water tank were seen on the premises while the steam cleaning operations were being carried out Monday afternoon.
The steam cleaning operations at the Cayon High School is in sharp contrast to the situation at the Basseterre High School when the Timothy Harris-led Team Unity coalition then in opposition and with the open support of the BHS management of Carleen Henry-Morton and Bishop Ron Collins, vice president and president respectively of the St Kitts Teachers Union politicised the mold issue at the BHS prior to the February 16, 2015 general election.
Promising a new BHS while in opposition, the Team Unity Government rejected the recommendations of local scientists, the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI), also based in Trinidad and
the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is a part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States Department of Health and Human Services, which found that the Basseterre High School “did not have a major mold problem” and recommended that the buildings of the BHS could be inhabited after remedial works are completed.
The remedial works presently being carried out by the Team Unity Government are similar to the same recommendations they rejected in relation to the BHS which they closed and abandoned and is unoccupied today.
Last week the Ministry of Education called in the company to washing down, power washing and steam cleaning the buildings to remove the mold.
Comparing the situation at both schools, the St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party candidate for St Christopher 8, Dr Terrance Drew has labelled it the “biggest political travesty that took place in our country.”
He recalled that prior to winning the 2015 elections the Team Unity promised to build a brand new BHS and on taking office in February 2015, they preferred to ‘err on the side of caution, instead of implementing the recommendations from the four independent bodies.
The Team Unity Government rejected the scientific reports, closed the two BHS campuses, built a multi-million dollar temporary wooden structure to house the students at Taylors and paying rent for land and housing to accommodate the students and unveiled plans to build a new BHS at a preliminary cost of EC$100 million on the Basseterre Valley Aquifer.
Photo 1- One of the workmen in white protective gear seen Monday afternoon in the window in one of the buildings of the Cayon High School