A team of Health Science students and staff from UWA recently travelled to a remote area of India to promote the benefits of rainwater harvesting and to get stuck in with some practical help. What's more, they stayed, despite the Mumbai attacks occurring the day after they arrived.
When the team first turned up at the local school in a remote village in India, they didn't muck around. They set to digging the foundations for a rainwater tank and the trench for a ground water pipeline the same day, as part of a broader aim to educate the villagers about the benefits of rainwater harvesting. The school in Kanagamakanapalli in the state of Karnataka has had no toilets or piped water supply since the school was built 10 years ago. The practical help, plus a donation by the Health Science team, will enable the school to install a rainwater tank and pipe plus two ecosan or composting toilets.
Victoria Gray, a student in her final year of the course, said the trip summed up what she had learnt over the previous four years, including disease control, health promotion, epidemiology, health economics, and health research design.
"From a public health perspective, it was amazing and a real eye opener to see how these people live, what issues they prioritise, and the scope there is for improvement," she said.