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Calling All Operators: Help Restore Infrastructure in the Caribbean

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As we prepare for the holidays in our warm comfortable homes where we’ll exchange expensive presents...let us not forget about all those still suffering from the effects of this year’s series of hurricanes. We remember the magnitude of Harvey then Irma and then Maria that devastated entire nations in the Caribbean.

As water and wastewater professionals, we are in a unique position to help. Recovery will take months to years, and as each island tackles their challenges, they need the support of qualified professionals on site. What many of these islands need is qualified operators to oversee repairs and recovery for brief stints.

CWWA is working with a coordinator in the Caribbean to match water and wastewater professionals with islands in need. It costs about $1,200 to get an operator from Canada to the islands, and then local services will cover all food and housing costs. Nothing is risk free but we wait until the situation stabilizes before sending operators into the field in order to provide a safe environment.

CWWA was proud to help raise $4,000 for this cause through the silent auction and collection bowl at the national conference in St. John’s. That’s 4 operators we are able to sponsor! The first three left to volunteer in Dominica on December 3rd and will be working there for two weeks helping restore water services. Others may follow in January if the need is still there. Unfortunately these disasters will reoccur and we want to be ready to deploy.

Our aim is to develop a list of operators who would be willing to help now or in the futureCan you volunteer some time to go down and help? You’ll find the experience rewarding. Contact Robert Haller at rhaller@cwwa.ca to get connected.If not, can you or your corporation or your service club sponsor another operator? You can send the donations to us at CWWA and we’ll ensure it is used for operators.

 

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