The placement involved:
- Assessing the capacity, maintenance procedures, future requirements and quality of the current water supply system, which includes a small gravity filtration plant treating stream water and untreated natural springs which feed into a village-wide distribution network. After the assessment, make detailed recommendations and designs, where necessary, for BAWA and the Bambui water supply system;
- Train and mentor two graduate engineering students through the process and contribute to their professional development by preparing them for future employment. Advise them on choosing and managing projects with the resources available to them, to the extent where on departure the two mentees are in a position to work independently;
- With the local water authority, prepare and develop an effective standard practice that is transferable to future employees in that area;
- Work with a local university towards hosting seminar discussion groups to undergraduate engineering students.
Who was involved?
One UK Engineer, Bambui Local Water Authority (BAWA), overseen and supported by Reignite.
BAWA is the main water provider in the village and it currently employs 1 technician and 4 assistants.
The volunteer engineer worked in the BAWA office, a 10min walk from Reignite’s office and accommodation. The work required site visits throughout the village (by car and/or on foot). The volunteer experienced rural conditions, high temperatures, and high humidity levels.
- Mentored two Cameroonian graduate engineers in water supply engineering, as well as improved other key skills in the areas of communication, team-working, financial, engineering professionalism, problem-solving, presentations, computer skills such as Microsoft Office and AutoCAD.
- Created the first map of the village’s water system, including GPS coordinates of the sources, the storage tanks and the other main structures of the system.
- Created a water balance of the inputs and outputs of the water supply system. A detailed water balance breaking the system down into the various distribution lines was then completed, which gives an idea of the quarters of the village most at risk of water stress.
- Created a project management plan for refilling the slow sand filter at the water treatment station. The extremely low level of sand (5-10cm) has been identified as the main cause of the poor water quality supplied by the Bambui Water Authority (BAWA).
- Created a code of practice for the BAWA which includes: maintenance guides and checklists for all relevant aspects of the technician’s work; a schedule of maintenance; a health and safety plan; information management systems; a guide for catchment protection; how to design sensitization sessions.
- Helped design a new hand-washing system for schools, as well as created and carried out a sensitization session in four of the primary schools in Bambui.
- Conducted a two-hour capacity building session with the office staff, management board and board of directors of the local water authority. The areas of concern were: H&S, scheduling & procedures, maintenance of springs, maintenance of water treatment station, repairs, new connection, information management and the sustainability of the system.
- Conducted two, two-hour training sessions with the technical team based on the code of practice.
Presented a list of recommendations to the management board of BAWA to better manage the village’s water system.
Head of Programme: Mariana Matoso
Project Team Leader: Teresa de Sousa
Project Assistant: Martin Findley
Sector Coordinator: Prince Tabifor Aloysius
Photographer: Fernando Matoso
Volunteers: Anthony, Amungwafor Atibatim Aloysius, Valentine Angafor, Afunwi Denis, Young Maximillian
Applicant: Bambui Water Authority
Local Partners: Bambui Water Authority, Bambui Village Council
Other Partners: Alcoa Foundation, Engineers Without Borders UK
Estimated Cost: £ 6,200
Community Funds: Transportation to sites, office and meeting hall
Other Funds: Alcoa Foundation, private donations & EWB UK
Timeline: 6 Months