MANDEVILLE, Manchester – Residents of Comfort district, a few miles south of Mandeville, were left in shock and disbelief after a little girl, said to be about seven years old, is suspected to have drowned in an open concrete tank on Tuesday.
The child was identified only as Kimmy, a grade-one student at a nearby school.
Residents told the Jamaica Observer that about midday the child was attempting to retrieve a slipper from the tank when she lost her balance and fell in.
They said firefighters who responded to their calls later removed the child’s body from the tank.
One resident, who identified himself as Val, pointed to the danger in having open concrete tanks.
“As a father, I feel it to know that a child lost her life like this. We need to take some steps to deal with safety because even adults can make a wrong step and fall in it. I don’t even know the little girl, but I feel it, like my own child, it is just sad,” he said.
“From now on we have to take things more seriously. This tank, it has to be covered now, whether [water in] it is used for feeding animals or plants,” he added.
Another resident who asked not to be named said she knew the child well.
“She is just seven. She just graduated from basic school and started grade one,” the woman said.
“She [mother] is always around her four children no matter if it is day or night. She just got a job and had to leave the children in the care of somebody else,” one resident said.
“If me did know seh she wanted somebody to keep the children, I would have done so,” added the resident.
Residents claimed the children were left by their mother in the care of her spouse. But it was unclear if the little girl and her siblings were being supervised in the moments leading up to the suspected drowning.
Workers from the Child Protection and Family Services Agency visited the community on Tuesday following the incident.
On September 18, 2020 there was the suspected drowning of Nardesha Smith, 19, a pregnant woman in the neighbouring community of Settlement.
Smith, who was visiting her boyfriend in the community, fell into an open concrete water tank while seeking cover in bushes during an an attack by gunmen. Aljay Green, 20, was killed by gunmen in the attack.