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Nov 23, 2000

Project leaves students in mud

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They say that progress brings problems… one high school in the Coney Drive area is experiencing the effects of a developmental project that has them literally in the mud.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Slush, slush that’s the sound being made as students on their way to Canaan Seventh Day Adventist High School trudge through the slick and mud covering Coney Drive. The mess was created by an ongoing project underway in the area by the Water and Sewerage Authority.

WASA contracted Johnston International to lay down twenty-four inch pipes as part of their Belize City Water Expansion Project. While the recent rains have not helped the situation, the staff and students believe WASA should have taken the necessary steps to avoid the problem in the first place.

Rosinell Craig, Principal, Canaan S.D.A. High School

“I do understand the project and the development that needs to be done here, but some provisions should have been made considering that there is a school in this area.”

“This problem that we are having so far is that the road is completely messed up. We have mud; we have water and the students coming through. Both entrances have been blocked, so we cannot get through.”

The students say not only has it been difficult for them to get to school, but their uniforms have been ruined.

Gina Conorquie, Student

“Well the past few mornings when we have come to school and the water was just so terrible and the mud is also terrible. I have to come to school with sandals and slippers. That is not right because we need to wear our shoes to school and our socks always get dirty and I don’t think we should be punish with stuff like that.”

Gwendolyn Smith, Student

“For instance this is my fourth shoes that I am changing from September. Every morning you come to school the mud is deeper and deeper, everyday it is worse.”

Rosinell Craig

“We have made one call to WASA and they had promise to send the graders to come in and grade the street and take care of the surface mud. That was done however as you can see that in its own way created a new situation because when you dig the road it creates the holes and it makes more potholes around the place.”

When we contacted WASA’s Public Relations Officer, Harry Bennett, he told us that they are aware of the problem, but that most of the pipes are already underground, so people living in the area should not be affected much longer. Bennett says the Government has plans to pave the road, but they were waiting for the project to end. He apologizes for the inconveniences being caused.

Late this afternoon, a student called to say that since we left the area, some clay was thrown on the road and the situation has improved somewhat. Meanwhile, Bennett says the work on Coney Drive should be completed in two weeks.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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