On the first day of the studio commencement, Paul Pholeros AM passed away (Feb 1st) in Sydney. It was agreed by participants at the initial briefing meeting in Kathmandu to continue the studios and reconstruction efforts in his honour. Paul’s wife and Nepal Village Health Improvement Program (NVHIP) co-founder Dr Sandra Meihubers who was planning to run dental camps as part of the Teeth and Toilets (TT) program with Rotary Australia World Community Service (RAWCS) in tandem with the studio, postponed this part of the program.
The Sanitation Studio (SS) 2016 is the 4th consecutive studio held in Nepal. Over the duration of studio, students from Australian universities volunteered their time and skills to develop tools that could be left behind to with the local Nepali teams to help expand and improve the program outcomes. Healthabitat (HH) led the studios in partnership with University of Newcastle (UoN), International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), WorldSkills (WS) and local Nepali teams. The focus of each studio was to have students work in interdisciplinary teams, to produce tangible tools tried and tested on the ground in consultation with the community who would be benefiting from it. This year was the most ambitious of studios, running across three locations with each project at different stages of development.
The final report was complied with the combined efforts of all who participated in the studio.
Student team for Shree Thangpal Dhap Secondary Higher School - Sanitation design works
Earthquake reconstruction team: Bhattedande Village standing in prototype footings
Plumbing team at Shree Jalapadevi Secondary Higher School - Sanitation works
Future schedule of works:
Loss of leadership in program co-founders Paul Pholeros (HH) and Sandra Meihubers (TT, RAWCS) during this trip has resulted in a retrospective reporting by Heleana Genaus (HH) via the collation of individual reports, phone calls, meetings and presentations by most attendees and contributors.
A follow up visit by HHOS Program Manager David Donald and HH National Manager & HHOS Director Karin Richards in April 2016 to further investigate:
- The outcome of the works completed to date
- The current capacity of local teams to expand the work
- Develop recommendations for the continued scope of works
- Develop recommendations for the schedule of works.
- Inclusion of the Sanitation Studio as a formal elective subject within the University of Newcastle, granting students credit for their participation
- Extensive capacity of local teams across various sites in post-earthquake Nepal,
- Extensive use of interdisciplinary skills to the benefit of program advancement and health gain
- Continuation of games and skills developed during the Community Plumbing Challenge (CPC) in Nashik, India November 2015In the unexpected loss of leadership, the Sanitation Studios were led by previous participants to the Studios and CPC to great success resulting in real, actionable outcomes, positive contributions on the ground with village groups and sound reports.