The guest speaker was Geoff Spencer, Treasurer of Water East Timor (WET), who was introduced by Mark Taylor.
Geoff graduated in Civil Engineering from Monash University and worked for 22 years in the Victorian Water Sector. He then spent 16 years at the World Bank HQ in Washington, DC, as a Senior Water Resources Specialist with a special interest in East and South Asia Regions.
Returned to Warrnambool at the end of 2008 and continues to be involved in a variety of international, national and local activities.
As well as some history of WET and its general objectives, he spoke particularly about a project to bring water to ASULAU VILLAGE using the successful method of damming a spring in the hills high above the village and piping water to the village where it is reticulated with large tanks as reserve.
Geoff emphasised the need to work closely with the village elders and people to ensure support and therefore full utilisation of the facility.
Current project costed at $15,500, made up of $10,000 from RCWE, $4500 from WET, and $1000 from Wannon Water. Four teams responsible for a. Headworks, b. Pipeline, c&d. Reticulation, managed by Eddie de Pina, PHFR, are already working. Two storage tanks will be in place early in August.
The project will provide safe and secure water to 250 villagers, including handwashing at the school, leading to better school attendance and better health outcomes for all. Geoff emphasised the benefit to girls who no longer need to be “water fetchers” so can attend school fulltime.
Another consequence is the appointment of a “Village Water Carer” who becomes part of the village structure, and whose job it is to educate and, if necessary, discipline villagers in the use and management of the water delivered, e.g., don’t leave taps running.
Geoff directed his $25 to the Leila Rose Foundation