A project engineer with Ilkley-based NG Bailey has returned home after flying to South Africa to help improve the country’s sanitation infrastructure – ensuring increased effectiveness and reduced maintenance for the locals.
The Healthabitat Sanitation Studio project, supported by the WorldSkills Foundation, provided Shane Trevitt with funds to travel to Diepsloot to work with the local WASSUP team (Water, Amenities, Sanitation Services Upgrade Program).
Over a 14-day period, he helped to provide new plumbing systems and sanitary works to improve the health of the residents and reduce the ongoing maintenance for the local team.
During the project, Shane and eight other team members replaced damaged pipework and installed water meters, cisterns and toilets.
The meters enabled the team to monitor the water usage to confirm the effectiveness of the work.
As well as the direct sanitation works, the team also replaced some below-ground drainage pipework and installed new drainable wash stands.
Commenting on his trip, Shane said:
“Seeing how the rich and poor live so close to each other but in totally different worlds had the biggest impact on me.
“The rich live with high security and dream cars, and then less than 15 minutes away the poor live without the basic levels of sanitation required to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“Providing these basic levels of sanitation will help prevent sickness, which in turn takes the strain off the local health service.”
Frank Clayton, NG Bailey’s head of group learning and development, said:
“We are always encouraging our employees to take part in community projects and we’re delighted about what Shane has accomplished and the hurdles he had to overcome to work in an area like Diepsloot.”
Long standing supplier, Jack Pennington, donated a number of tools to the trip, arranged through NG Bailey’s procurement team.
Shane was then able to leave the tools behind for the ongoing maintenance team to utilise.
Diepsloot is a densely populated settlement in the north of Johannesburg, South Africa.
It is located in the newly formed Region A and is made up of government-subsidised housing, brick houses built by landowners and shacks.