Sunday, January 21, 2018

...Thick smoke closes schools


POLLUTION IN POS: This is what the Brian Lara Promenade in Port of Spain looked like yesterday morning after smoke from a batch of “unplanned” fires in the Beetham landfill spread into the city. —Photo: ROBERT TAYLOR

Mark Fraser

The thick smoke billowing from the Beetham landfill yesterday caused the early closure of some schools in Port of Spain.

Second vice-president of the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA),Lynsley Doodhai,  has called on the Ministry of Education to address the problem.

According to Doodhai, the schools affected were Tranquillity Secondary, Beetham Government Primary, Nelson Street Boys’ RC, Success/Laventille Secondary, Tranquillity Government  Primary and South East Port of Spain Secondary. Both teachers and pupils complained of smoke-filled classrooms, breathing problems and burning throats and eyes, Doodhai said.

Communications specialist of the Ministry of Education, Alicia Busby, confirmed parents were allowed to pick up their children from school yesterday because of the intense smoke. 

However, she said the ministry did not receive any report concerning Tranquillity Secondary School and Beetham Government Primary. 

She said there was not much the ministry could have done in such a situation except allow parents to pick up their children, especially those with respiratory problems.