Stench returns

Foul odour back at Combermere

Just when they thought it was over, the stench that has plagued Combermere School for well over a year, has flared up again.

However, while some classrooms were evacuated around 10 a.m. as a result, classes were not seriously disrupted as was the case with the previous flare up in November last year when the school was forced to close for five weeks, a source told Barbados TODAY.

“As we speak we had two teachers and students having to leave their classes and they reported to the office because of the bad smell. What is important to note is that it is the students and not the teachers who are reporting it this time. Right now the smell is concentrated in the third form area,” the source revealed, adding, while it “did not result in any serious disruption to the school” there were concerns among staff members that the situation could escalate if it were not dealt with urgently.   

President of the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union (BSTU) Mary Redman exhibited restraint, telling Barbados TODAY while she had been made aware of the situation, the group of environmental experts who had declared it was safe to return to the classroom had said the environmental rehabilitation of the school was an ongoing process.

“I just received the report this morning and I am in the process of informing the Ministry of Education of the situation. Actually it has not gone away because on the day that we did our inspection, the scent was still evident at one part of the school and the expert team was able to smell it themselves. But they have been monitoring and the remedial action is ongoing. However it seems from the end of last week and today that the scent is stronger and more sustained,” Redman said.

She was referring to the examination on January 10 by members of staff, BSTU, parents and representatives from the Ministry of Education of the remedial work conducted by the environmental team comprising former Combermere students.

Following “an extensive and fairly rigorous” examination, the team concluded that inappropriate storage and management of chemicals in the science block was responsible for the noxious odour that had caused discomfort to students and teachers.

The BSTU boss cautioned it was still too early to determine if teachers would contemplate any action, as the ministry had not had a chance to address the latest flare up.

“We can’t go there yet. I am informing the ministry right now and let them know the situation,” she stressed.

Just last week, Minister of Education, Ronald Jones had expressed satisfaction with the resettlement efforts at the school since it re-opened for the start of the new school term, which began on January 11.

However, Jones was cautious not to pronounce the problem solved, insisting his ministry would continue to monitor the situation closely in the coming weeks.

8 Responses to Stench returns

  1. Hal Austin January 24, 2017 at 5:45 am

    This is either mass psychology at play, or local ‘experts’ are a waste of space.
    Call in experts from North America or Europe.

  2. harry turnover January 24, 2017 at 7:45 am

    When no mass usage of the bathrooms there is little or no smell.As soon as School reopens and there is mass usage of the bathrooms the smell returns ,that is telling me that the water is churning up the sewage well(s).
    Combermere School needs a NEW sewage system.A retired Official of the Environment Division said sometime ago that the School has one well and that was the problem.

    • Winston Tinto January 24, 2017 at 11:40 am

      I agree with this analysis. The school needs to build at least two new wells to accommodate the quantum of sewage being generated when the school is in full usage.

  3. Henry forde January 24, 2017 at 8:34 am

    There is also a stench at springer school and this stench is coming from dead animals that smell like blood and no one is doing nothing about it but combermere is shuting down

  4. Kevin January 24, 2017 at 11:02 am

    When the BLP returns to power, the stench will go away.

  5. TrollHunter January 24, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    You seem to know so much Mr Austin, an absolute open manhole of expertise and knowledge. Maybe you should go seat all the students and teachers and ancillary staff on your couch and conduct your mass psychoanalysis… Better yet, do it on the school’s premises, maybe the Guidance Counselor would oblige to lending his/her office to you. Go lead the charge importing your ‘superior’ European or North American experts… But first of course, fill some wasted space.

  6. To tell the truth January 24, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    There was no “major stench” at the school yesterday…….my child is in the class where it was alleged that there was a smell……no children observed anything except for less than a minute and no classes were cancelled……there are two teachers creating a stink for no reason…….we at Combermere are happy for the experts who have done a continue to do a fabulous job……pity so many people only talk in comments sections but unlike the experts do nothing to help the situation.

  7. Ejd January 24, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Place cameras in secret places. Maybe the stench is dliberately set?


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