HONOLULU (KHON2) — School officials and parents affected by the water contamination crisis are losing patience as children have gone three weeks without the use of running water. They are also growing more concerned as COVID cases spike.
Handwashing sanitation stations have been critical in keeping the kids clean. Holy Family Catholic Academy has two of them, and the school is looking to get at least five more.
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However, it is far from ideal as the teacher still has to pump the water for all the preschool children at least three times a day.
“It’s very, very exhausting, it’s very time-consuming. It just makes our job a little harder,” said Casey Villarmia, who teaches preschool students at Holy Family Catholic Academy.
For the older kids, hand sanitizers will do or they can take bottled water to the restroom for washing. School officials said the whole situation has taken a toll on everyone and raises more fears about the coronavirus pandemic.
“Watching the numbers as they have been increasing, yes, the big boom today took us to a whole new level. If I were to find something, we would pay for it no matter what it costs,” said Principal Celeste Akiu of Holy Family Catholic Academy.
The school has had a hard time finding more of these handwashing stations. Akiu has asked the Navy for help.
The school cafeteria is able to provide lunch by making sandwiches. But with no end in sight, Akiu has told parents that they could be dealing with the problem through the rest of the school year.
“Their patience is wearing thin. They want some answers, they want to understand what is the plan here. I know now with these high numbers there’s gonna be even more of a heightened concern,” Akiu added.
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She said teachers, parents and the students are really looking forward to having two weeks off for the upcoming holidays.