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Water, sanitation and hygiene

Volunteers in water, sanitation and hygiene

Case study: Jaidev Vasudevan, Civil Engineer

Jaidev Vasudevan (third from left) with two RWSS officers Willie Jack & Jack Rurai, perform a water resource assessment at Kukundu, Kolombangara, Solomon Islands.

As an Australian Volunteer Water Engineer, Jaidev's role includes assisting with water, sanitation and hygiene policy development and capacity building of local staff from the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Unit (RWSS) in Gizo, Solomon Islands. His role also involves performing water resource assessments for remote island communities, which has allowed him to see vast areas of the Western Province.

Each water resource assessment starts with a community discussion to identify suitable water sources (such as rivers, creeks and springs), and quantify the water demand for the area. Alongside a few community members, Jaidev then walks to the source, determines the elevation and assesses the source's suitability for the community.

Jaidev then compiles the information obtained from the assessment into a design report and a proposal for constructing the system is developed.

To assist with these assessments, Jaidev applied for the Assignment Support Allowance to buy two barometric altimeters, which are used to measure atmospheric pressure. By measuring the difference in pressure between a community and the water source, the elevation of the source can be accurately calculated. Workshops were then run at the Western Province RWSS office to train staff members in using the altimeters and performing accurate assessments.

Fred Naphthali, Chief Health Inspector of the Environmental Health Division for the Western Province, states: 'Jaidev's designs for over 40 communities will remain a legacy that our people will forever remember, a product of his hard work. He is just the right engineer for the job.'

Last Updated: 24 October 2014
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