Half Way Tree Primary is the first of several schools across the island to receive water storage tanks from Wisynco through the company’s Bigga Soft Drink brand’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative: ‘Bigga Sanitation in Schools’.
Wisynco’s Director of Marketing, Francois Chalifour, says the water storage initiative has been implemented to aid the sanitation needs of schools with limited access to consistent running water. “As a company, several of our beverage brands assisted the health ministry, healthcare workers, groups, and individuals in Jamaica’s fight against the spread of the Coronavirus through various donations and initiatives. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of practicing good hygiene, and now, with the full resumption of face-to-face learning, we are playing our part in aiding the safety of vulnerable Jamaicans.”
Half Way Tree Primary School was first established in 1924 and remains one of Kingston’s most prominent primary education institutions. The school moved in 1984 from Hope Road to its present location on Burlington Avenue. It currently has a student population of 955 along with 60 members of staff.
On January 19, Principal Carol O’Connor Clarke and the President of the school’s Parent Teacher’s Association, Kelly-Ann Fraser, who made the request, were on hand to receive the two 1,000-gallon water storage tanks.
According to the Half Way Tree Primary Principal, the institution is without water from time to time due to shortages and lock-offs. “We immediately call National Water Commission when there is a shortage and they assist us at no charge.” She added: “We remind our children every day that sanitation is very important, and they have been very compliant, and they are doing very well, and the teachers, we live it. The PTA initiated this donation to help with the water crisis here at the school – and we are very grateful for these tanks.”
Bigga’s Brand Manager, Keteisha McHugh, underscored that “We learnt of the school’s plight and decided to respond to the crisis immediately. As a brand, Bigga is one that is big on nation-building and cares for Jamaicans.”
Bridge Port Primary in St Catherine is next in line to receive water storage tanks from Bigga.