Rotarians help with key water projects

staff reporterSound Telegraph
Rotary Club of Palm Beach member Michael Le-Cocq with Rotary Club of Kwinana president Max Bird, Bob Cooper and Rotary Club of Byford and Districts president Tom Hoyer.
Camera IconRotary Club of Palm Beach member Michael Le-Cocq with Rotary Club of Kwinana president Max Bird, Bob Cooper and Rotary Club of Byford and Districts president Tom Hoyer. Credit: David Salvaire

An ongoing water restoration project spearheaded by Kwinana Rotarians has delivered fresh flowing water to over 1000 people in Timor.

Club president Max Bird and Treasurer Bob Cooper arrived back in Perth recently after a whirlwind trip of the South-east Asian nation.

The trip focused around two major projects which are funded through contributions from more than 15 Rotary Clubs across WA and Victoria

The first stop was a newly built convent in Tutuala where Mr Bird and Mr Cooper used the Timor Government’s existing pipeline supplying water to Tutuala, the government had run a 25mm pipe line to the sisters’ boundary for their use, this was connected to several tanks including one that was elevated allowing the water to flow into the taps and toilets within the convent.

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The convent that was built with the long term aims of opening a pre-school centre for 100 students and staff.

Next the Rotary team moved on to an agricultural school at Fuiloro rehabilitating an old bore close to the Dairy

Mr Bird and Mr Cooper, with the help of Brother Tomas, were able to test a control box and pump supplied by the group.

After a few adjustment including changing the polarity (it was wired in wrong at the factory) the control box was working correctly including all the safety features.

With the high and low water and power cut-offs functioning as required, the three-phase 2hp pump was then put into the test bed.

The pump and control box were then installed into position at the dairy by the local workers, and after a few more minor adjustments all was working correctly and water was being pumped into the 570,000 litre tank which now provides a secondary water source to the school.

The 130 girl boarders, 140 boy boarders and 700 day students plus staff had the 570,000L water tank overflowing within 40 hours of pumping.

Mr Bird said the experience had been very rewarding.

“We’ve had some very happy customers up there, and their reactions were extremely positive,” he said.

“They’re dirt poor but they’re doing a terrific job with what they’ve got.

“They were begging for help and we were in a position where we could offer our services to them.”

Mr Cooper said after the projects were completed they were handed to the villagers to run which had proved successful.

“The villages have to ask for help and demonstrate they’re prepared to work for it, own it, maintain it and form a management committee which charges a usage fee to pay for repairs and maintenance,” he said.

“We teach them all the things they need to be self-sufficient, and we then have no more commitment to it.

“We recognise we’re using public money for this and that’s why we talk about need for, sustainability, relationship building and a whole bunch of measures.”

The group is planning to return to Timor in August to supply water to a maternity hospital in Baguia that currently has no potable water.

They plan to set up a rainwater harvesting system and feed potable water into the existing hospital taps.

At Gari-Uaivillage, where about 1,500 to 2,000 villagers are without water for three months of the year during the dry season, the group plan to establish a pumping station supplying water to the village

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