BY JOHN HOUANIHAU
SIX local engineering staff of Solomon Water have completed an intensive two-week training course on water and wastewater treatment in Fiji.
The training was made possible with the support of the Aotearoa New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Engineers Without Borders New Zealand (EWBNZ), facilitated by experienced staff from the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF).
EWBNZ is working with Solomon Water to help develop the capabilities of their staff and ensure safe drinking water for the people of the Solomon Islands.
The two-week learning expedition with the Water Authority of Fiji, alongside EWBNZ Project Manager Patrick Pagkale, was instrumental and practical for the staff of Solomon Water.
The training covered numerous aspects of water and wastewater treatment, including:
- An overview of the Water Authority of Fiji as a water utility was provided by the authorities Manager, Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation, Mr. Manasa Tusulu.
- Basic water treatment training in a conventional water treatment facility was carried out at the Tamavua and Waila water treatment plant sites by Senior Engineer, Treatment, Mr. Roger Laqere.
- A tour of the Water Authority of Fiji’s National Control Center was led by Acting Manager, Mechanical, Electrical, and Technology, Mr. Thomas Hughes.
- Training in chlorine gas safety and emergency response by Central Pacific Chemicals Pte Ltd’s Mr. Roneel Nand
- Testing water quality at the Water Authority of Fiji’s National Water Quality Laboratory, held by Ms. Khriti Chandra
- A tour of the Water Authority of Fiji’s mechanical and electrical workshop by the wastewater team at the Kinoya Wastewater Treatment Plant
- GIS training was delivered by Team Leader-GIS, Ms. Ferlisa Valentine.
- An overview of water operations in the Central Eastern division by Acting Manager, Service Delivery CE, Mr. Joeli Rabuatoka
- A tour of the newly commissioned package water treatment plant in Vunidawa was facilitated by engineer Ms. Paula Korosaya.
- A brief inspection of the works being carried out as part of the Rewa River Water Project, coordinated and facilitated by the Special Projects Team of the Water Authority of Fiji,
A statement from the EWBNZ described these trainings as instrumental in ensuring that the staff at Solomon Water are able to manage and maintain their water treatment plants, ensuring safe and secure water for all their people.
“We are very thankful to everyone who was able to aid in these trainings, as well as the Water Authority of Fiji CEO, Mr. Amit Chanan, COO, Mr. Seru Soderberg, and his management team for accommodating us over the two-week period.”
Engineers Without Borders New Zealand (EWBNZ) is a non-profit organization aiming to create systemic change through humanitarian engineering. It works with professionals and students to address global challenges like poverty and social inequity. EWBNZ improves quality of life in New Zealand and the South Pacific, providing educational opportunities and empowerment.