The Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC), Samoa Campus provides plumbing training to Australian Standards. Recently Jeremiah and Randall attended Samoa at the invitation of APTC to provide training and certification of the Plumbers undertaking the APTC course.

Plumbers from PNG, Fiji, Solomon Islands and Samoa displayed a high level of understanding of onsite waste management. Every Plumber was fully aware of the impact septic tank effluent was having on their community health and local environment. As the population of these third world countries grow, they increasingly adopt first world living/sanitary management, the resulting impact on ground water and in many cases their community water supply is becoming an extreme heath hazard.

Like the majority of Australians I was unaware of APTC and the role it performs in the South Pacific or that Aus Aid provide funding for the college. It is greatly appreciated by the local communities and governments. Samoans are very friendly people and asked what we were doing in Samoa. When we replied that we were working with APTC, two of them beamed and proudly advised us that they were graduates of the APTC and that the opportunity had change their lives.

On the day that Jeremiah and I conducted the training for AES, we meet Australia’s Foreign Minister Bob Carr and the Samoan Minister for Education and Health the Honourable Magele Mauiliu inspecting the APTC training facility and meeting the Plumbing Students and Plumbing trainer Bruce Weatherill.

The Minister requested from Bruce Weatherill an explanation of the difference between the AWTS system they had trained with and the AES that we were presenting to the students. Following the explanation, Minister Magele Mauiliu acknowledges the simplicity of the AES and its ability to greatly improve the water quality. So much so that he requested the opportunity to attend our presentation that evening for members of the fledgling Master Plumbers Assoc of Samoa and the European Union Foreign Aide representative to Samoa Tim.

To have the Health Minister show such interest was an indication of just how important it is to improve the management of sewerage wastewater in the Pacific Nations, both for community health and the environment and how impressed he was with the simplicity of the AES, the high quality water it produced and its affordability. Minister Magele Mauiliu said, “Most of our income is from foreign aid, we need solutions that are affordable other wise we do not have a solution and the health risks will increase.”

Chankar Environmental P/L will support APTC at every opportunity and will be working closely with Samoa to provide an affordable and effective solution to improving the management of the onsite septic wastewater issues.

The Australia-Pacific Technical College is wonderful AUS AID programme that builds futures not monuments.