Yesterday, Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB) announced their end of year campaign Engineering on Country. The Engineering on Country program aims to address the deep inequalities faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Safe and reliable access to water is something Australians expect, however for some remote communities don’t have this level of access.
A 2017 project conducted by the University of Queensland in calibration with WaterAid regarding health and water in remote Indigenous communities aims to understand the status of one of the UN's sustainable development goals (SDG6) in remote Australia. Their report outlines the current status of water, sanitation and hygiene services and challenges in remote Australian Indigenous communities. One of the findings of this project is that contamination of drinking water remains a risk in these communities.
Achieving SDG6 means that Indigenous Australians can choose to live on country - recognising their rights to land, and self-determination.
In their campaign, EWB tells us about the Lama Lama people in Cape York. The Lama Lama people have been using a diesel powered pump to extract water from the Port Stewart River. When water levels in the river fall in the dry season, they were forced to improvise which led to contamination and subsequent health risks. EWB connected businesses that share their vision with community partners, and for the Lama Lama people, who had identified that water was crucial to meet their aspirations, a corporate partner designed an appropriate water technology solution for them.
If you can, please show your commitment and donate to to the Engineering on Country campaign.