Drew notes Cayon High has mold contamination; compares situation with old Basseterre High

The St Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) candidate for St Christopher 8, Dr Terrance Drew, has accused the Timothy Harris-led Team Unity Government of committing the biggest political travesty in the history of St Kitts and Nevis.

Dr Drew was at the time speaking at a political meeting in Cayon, a part of the constituency that he is seeking to represent in the St Kitts and Nevis National Assembly.

He raised the issue of the closure of the Cayon High School earlier this month by the Team Unity Government due to mold infestation.

The issue of mold infestation first occurred in 2018 and again in March and May this year when teachers became ill and tests returned positive. Teachers also signed a petition to prompt the government to take the necessary action.

Instead of using the two-month summer vacation in July and August to take the necessary actions, the Ministry of Education waited until one week before the official opening of school to conducts tests. On August 26, most teachers refused to enter the building for a staff meeting in preparation for the official start of the new 2019/2010 new school year on September 2.

Up to press time, this media house has not been made aware of a confirmed time for Cayon High School students to return to their classrooms.

Drew then directed his attention to the old Basseterre High School saga, saying it “was the biggest political travesty that took place in our country,”

He said that the specialists from NIOSH came to St Kitts and like the local scientists, the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI), also based in Trinidad, recommended that the buildings of the BHS could be inhabited after remedial works were completed.

“The first line in the NIOSH report concludes ‘we did not find any major mole problems at the school during our assessment,’ Dr Drew read.

He recalled that prior to winning the 2015 elections the Team Unity promised to build a brand new BHS. On taking office in February 2015, education minister Richards along with the cabinet stated they were “erring on the side of caution,’ rejected all of the scientific reports, closed the two BHS campuses, built a multi-million dollar temporary wooden structure to house the students at Taylors and unveiled plans for a new BHS at a preliminary cost of EC$100 million on the Basseterre Valley Aquifer.

“They erred on the side of caution. Follow the logic, if Cayon High School has more mold than the Basseterre High School ever had, and you (Team Unity Government) is willing to build a brand new Basseterre High School, why then is Eugene Hamilton, not erring on the side of caution and asking for a brand new Cayon High School?” Drew argued.