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Codes and Standards International, a well-known plumbing and mechanical codes and standards consultancy, has been tapped to spearhead a USAID-funded, large scale and detailed project in Haiti to adopt and adapt plumbing codes and standards. Additionally they will set up training and certification schemes to pave the way for a more sustainable plumbing industry on the island.
The project strives to increase economic growth and employment opportunities in Haiti, and expand opportunities for enterprises to generate employment for Haitian men, women, and youth in the three development corridors: Port Au Prince, Saint Marc, and Cap-Haitian.
The project will introduce standards, codes and norms into the plumbing trade, as well as evaluate the level of competence of existing plumbers. The results will include a recognized certification system for plumbers as well as a more market-ready skills upgraded training by professional vocation schools.
Beginning in June, CSI’s principal advisor, Jay Peters, will spend 15 days in Haiti, performing a market study in collaboration with a local Haitian vocational school to identify market size, industry profile, firms, general level of competency of tradesmen, plumbing related utilities and infrastructure available and a general localized scope of “plumbing”. Joint focus group sessions and interviews will be held with local reputable plumbing and construction firms along with industry tradesmen.
He’ll analyze the key metrics related to the plumbing infrastructure and recommend a set of international norms (codes and standards) which will be adapted specifically to meet the localized needs of Haiti’s plumbing industry. From there, a national industry education and certification scheme will be proposed for specific levels of competency, such as apprentice, journeymen and masters, and will include content for training and examinations.
Peters, who has held senior positions at the International Code Council and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials says this is right up his alley. “I have trained industry throughout the world and assisted governments from the USA to the Philippines with adopting, adapting and implementing codes. This project’s benefit is twofold, the industry will raise its level of professionalism and, simultaneously, the public at large will have safer plumbing and sanitation systems.”
Peters has a personal connection to Haiti and sees this as a great opportunity. “My wife and I have been to Haiti on a couple of occasions on our own time, installing rainwater collection systems in schools in the remote mountains of Non Colo to provide water for the children. We immediately bonded to the people and their constant endeavor for a better way of life in the harshest of conditions. Now, with this initiative, I can affect more people and have a larger impact than ever before.”
The project will last for several months. According to Peters, the most difficult aspect will be the extensive time away from his family. “They understand that they are an integral part of this initiative and their sacrifice will help many people live safer and better lives.” He anticipates that if all goes well, this will set a standard for other trades and industries to emulate across Haiti, having a much larger impact than building a more sustainable plumbing industry.