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In celebration of World Plumbing Day 2019 — a day that recognizes the vital role plumbing plays in protecting public health and improving amenity — the International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH), has announced two new project assignments that are now open for interested volunteer and sponsorship applications.
The first project announcement represents another step in the IWSH partnership with the Nepal Village Health Improvement Program, from Australian NGO Healthabitat O/S. Slated for the end of May, this assignment will focus on completion of new water supply, hand washing, toilets and waste disposal systems for Laangarche Lapse School and Pancha Kanya School, which are located a short distance apart in the mountainous Sindhupalchok region northeast of capital Kathmandu.
IWSH will assign two volunteer plumbers to this latest Healthabitat O/S project, and all international travel plus local transfers, accommodation and board for the duration of the project will be fully sponsored for the selected candidates.
“IWSH and IAPMO have supported our work in Nepal in various ways for the last six years, and during that time they have provided a constant flow of skilled and hard-working tradespeople from all over the world to lead plumbing and other construction aspects of our projects,” said Dave Donald, Healthabitat O/S program manager. “The technical expertise and energy these volunteers bring to our teams is invaluable, and we look forward to welcoming the next pairing to Sindhupalchok because the two selected school sites are in great need. Their work is going to be greatly appreciated, for the impact it will ultimately make on general public health in the surrounding community.”
The second project announcement is the next installment of the Community Plumbing Challenge, Navajo Nation program. This follows hot on the heels of the October 2018 pilot IWSH-Navajo Water Project collaboration; a partnership with U.S. Water Prize-winning non-profit DigDeep. This pilot project delivered running water, safe wastewater disposal and a range of other building renovations to 10 households across the Baca-Prewitt chapter, in the area surrounding Thoreau, New Mexico; provided by a team of more than 30 skilled tradespeople from across the United States, with further international volunteers joining from Australia, Canada, Ireland and South Africa.
The next collaboration is slated for early June and will see a newly-assembled international Trades Team support DigDeep’s newest community outreach across the remote region of Navajo Mountain, on the Arizona-Utah state border.
“Navajo Mountain is the next challenge in DigDeep’s mission to bring safe, running water and sanitation to the people of the Navajo Nation — who represent just a fraction of the 1.6 million people across the United States today who still live without,” said Emma Robbins, Navajo Water project director for DigDeep. “Our developing partnership with IWSH and their Community Plumbing Challenge program is raising the standard and quality of the home water installations we are providing, helping improve maintenance procedures, and creating further education and training opportunities. We are sharing new skills, new ideas, new perspectives … and all of these are vital as we progress together toward our next community partnership with the Navajo Mountain chapter.”
“Water, sanitation and plumbing are vital to global health, so it is very fitting to announce these new projects on World Plumbing Day,” said Dain Hansen, managing director of IWSH. “Both are continuations of existing programs: strengthening new and existing partnerships and ensuring that real, long-term benefit for the host communities — in terms of improved access to water and sanitation enhancing living environments, impacting public health, and stopping people getting sick — is being achieved. We encourage any interested parties, whether they are young students and apprentices, experienced professional contractors, or larger companies and manufacturers, to get in touch and let us know how they would like to get involved!”