Open letter demands relocation of farms

Dear Honourable Ministers,

On Wednesday 16th March 2016, you insulted us, the parents with children attending the Augier Combined School.

For over 22 years, the school has been disrupted by the smells from farms nearby the school. To discuss this very sensitive issue you send scapegoats, an overworked principal and the education officer.

If it wasn’t for the direction of the principal in controlling and redirecting the meeting, the mouth piece from the ministry of Education would have been chewed out.

Mr. Ministers, no longer are we ignorant agrarian people but our parents are now made up of a cadre of intelligent professionals who see through the nonsense that successive governments continue to spew.

How and why these farmers where allowed to continue to operate a thriving business at the expense of the health of the teachers and students is appalling to us.

This situation affects the entire community. Is no one concerned that an entire generation from our community is being made sick by the fumes and pilot ants from these farms? Is this a conspiracy theory to wipe out a generation of Augier’s children and have them succumb from sicknesses left to be determined?

Is it that the lives of our heartbeats, our most precious jewels, our babies are so inconsequential that your solutions continue to be the same? Whether it be long term, short term or otherwise? We demand answers!

Children and teachers have fallen sick, are still sick….where is the concern? Where is the compensation? School insurance only covers accidents at, near or during school related activities.

This is not a problem of the stench; on a windy day from the school’s playing field the feathers from the chicken coup are visible.

Our children view it as a source of amusement and play with it but what really are they playing with? Teachers continue to feel burning sensations on their skin, children have persistent coughs and runny noses….aren’t these reasons for concern?

Right now children in Grades K, 1, 3 and 5 have been asked to remain home as there is no location from which they can receive instruction which is supposed to free for all. These Grade 5 students are the very same who some six years ago where displaced from the school at Augier Combined…..same process…no new solutions.

This is what we demand…… When will the farms be relocated….no long term, short term lingo…..time is measured in months….we need dates….is the air quality at the school to be tested before our little ones are asked to report there? This has to be done….will we hear an allocation being made in this year’s budget specifically geared towards relief for the school?

Everyone is being taken care of… are getting assistance of all sorts….do these farmers operate from a lease? When and how will they be held culpable for the public nuisance that they have repeatedly been guilty of? Are eggs more important than this nation’s future? Why are the school and community tied up and affected negatively by a nasty family dispute amongst the farmers?

Can’t the school be relocated, whether short term or permanently? This time, no mouth pieces….we demand your presence and insist that the Augier Combined School’s PTA be included at meetings to discuss the future of our children.

Parents of Augier Combined

(Open letter to the Prime Minister of St. Lucia, Parliamentary Representative of Augier/ Laborie, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Education, Minister of Health and Minister of Commerce‏)