Andrew Wedgner, Keith Etherington, Saad Idrees
Papers # 2014 Chicago
Often plastics get a bad press due to poor quality products and the mishandling of plastic waste. But when high quality pipe systems are employed, they can significantly improve the lives of people living in poor communities around the world. The success and sustainability of such projects is also often down to successful partnerships between funders, local NGO’s, pipe producers and project communities. This together with the provision of finance, materials and technical support has proved to be a successful formula in a number of countries. In order to analyse the formula and identify some lessons that can be applied to similar programmes the paper will focus on two recent projects undertaken in some remote mountainous areas. These have shown how simple water supply systems using PE pipes can transform the lives of people in some of the poorest communities. Serious flooding in the mountains of Northern Pakistan in July 2010 killed many people and destroyed the fragile infrastructure. By supporting local NGO HEED over 5,000 people in villages in the Neelum Valley were provided with new water supply systems. Small diameter PE100 RC pipes were used to bring the water down from the mountain springs to these villages, which sometimes required innovative engineering solutions such as an insulated “cable pipe bridge” across a steep sided valley. Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world with nearly 40% of the population living below the international poverty line. In the rural town of Kosoru, in the Eastern Ethiopian Highlands, UK based NGO, Tearfund and their local partner EKHCDP provided safe drinking water and sanitation services to the local community of 4,000 people. The project included the construction of a 7 km PE100 RC pipeline linking two mountain springs to storage tanks and on to eleven water points around the project area.