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The International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH), IAPMO's charitable arm, has launched a new education and training collaboration with BORDA India, with the intention to support plumbers in the city of Leh in the remote Himalayan district of Ladakh, northern India. BORDA — the Bremen Overseas Research & Development Association — is an expert NGO specializing in sanitation and urban development, with more than 40 years of award-winning solutions that empower people and set new standards in 20-plus countries worldwide.
The collaboration was launched with a bespoke webinar highlighting IAPMO India's Uniform Plumbing Code – India, providing an introduction to plumbing best practices and covering water supply, wastewater systems, toilets and septic systems.
"BORDA South Asia's plan for the next few years is focused on small town (South Asia) water and sanitation service delivery, which includes direct interventions in eight small towns in India, Bangladesh and Nepal," said Stanzin Tsephel, regional director for BORDA South Asia. "Our initial assessment is that the technical infrastructure needs upgrades, and municipal engineers need technical capacity building. This is where we think technical organizations like IAPMO can be of great benefit to these municipalities."
The joint training with linespeople in Leh is one such step, according to Tsephel. Due to its extreme weather conditions, Leh presents many technical challenges, especially freezing water supply lines that shut off water to homes for six months of the year.
"This plumbing training will introduce and orient the linespeople to basic global best practices and techniques such as focusing preventative maintenance rather than ad-hoc repairs," Tsephel said. "We hope this is the first in a series of such really practical and technical sessions that can upgrade the skills of the plumbers, linespeople and engineers of Leh, especially with regard to plumbing and allied mechanical issues."
This introductory training session was designed by Swathi Saralaya, project manager with IAPMO India, and Sudip Das, plumbing engineer and recent recipient of the World Plumbing Council – United Association Instructor Training Program Scholarship.
"I feel honored to get the opportunity to work with IWSH and BORDA," Das said. "I enjoy challenges, I enjoy working, I enjoy interaction with new people. At the same time, I always feel indebted for the opportunity to work for disadvantaged communities. I hope this is just the beginning and in future we shall work together in many more projects for the development of the trade, tradespeople and communities in need."
"This is a unique training collaboration between BORDA and IWSH in India," Saralaya said. "The plumbers utilizing this training will be introduced to effective plumbing systems. We are hoping that this will enable them to understand the principles of good plumbing and adopt the same in the installations they carry out."
The new collaboration represents the latest IWSH efforts in India, following the pilot Community Plumbing Challenge event presented in Nashik, Maharashtra, in 2015, and further community-based initiatives in Kerala through 2017.
Plumbers in the Leh, Ladakh region who wish to learn more about the new IWSH-BORDA training initiative are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Visit www.borda-sa.org/india/ to learn more about BORDA India.