Starting in 2012 and running through 2016 Rotary has been working with Taveuni community leaders in an apprenticeship training program on providing village clean water infrastructure.
This “learning by doing” program brought leaders together to build infrastructure in each other’s communities.  Ninety projects were completed, over 100 leaders participated and clean water was made available to 7,000 Taveuni villagers. A wide variety of solutions were put in place including contained spring catchment systems, new water storage units, rain water catchment that cleaned the roof before putting water in storage, improved river catchment, toilet blocks / septic systems, grey water disposal, solar pump elevation of roof catchment and 40 Fiji sand based community water filters. This work was done in partnership with the Taveuni Rotary, under Rotary Matching Grant 79234 and Rotary Global Grant 1526390
Holy Cross unique to level design.

Niusawa Ind Arts team in their new “Clean Water Saves Lives” Rotary shirts.

Wairiki Primary re-work
Niusawa second filter
In July of this year, the Rotary Clubs of Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach joined together to fund the completion session of this five year effort – a sustainability and expansion program for the community biosand filters on Taveuni. It was made up of two parts:
Ten of the best participants in the village apprenticeship training were hired to visit all 40 filters and to bring them up to “good as new” working order.  In addition to servicing and upgrading filters, they also re-trained community members on maintenance and service requirements and, in the process, became known as the local people who know what to do.
Work spanned from topping up sand, repainting tanks and adding improved tank screening to building new shade structures and, in four cases completely rebuilding filters damaged by Cyclone Winston.
In addition a cadre of local residents have divided up and adopted all of the filter locations -  people committed to checking in on installations to be sure they are in full working order, and if not finding what it takes to get them back up to speed.
In addition to this, the three secondary schools with full Industrial Arts programs, as their year 12 projects, built community biosand filters.  Rotary provided the materials and design documents – the students, under the guidance of their teachers, did the work.  In all four new biosand filters were built, two at Niusawa, one at Buca Levu and one at Holy Cross. 
On Friday, July 28th, the three schools met together to present what they had learned and what they had built.  The student research on water issues, their inventiveness on applying this technology to their school environment, the quality of their work and their overall enthusiasm blew us away. It was a wonderful way to bring a program to a completion.
Residual funds in the program are paying for materials for the Taveuni Rotary Club to build a shade structure over the hospital water system, built last year as part of the global grant. Any funds remaining after that will go toward improving the water  supply to hospital staff quarters.
A special thanks to:
The Taveuni Rotary for providing five years of materials and logistics support as well as contributing to the effort, managing the books, locating additional funds and providing direction.
Vishal Kumar, Assistant Health Inspector, for enrolling participants, selecting projects, working through challenges and partnering on the project.
Norm Hantzsche and the engineers of Questa Engineering for volunteering their time to design and implement all technical aspects of the project, often flying to Taveuni at their own expense.
Gary Pursell, Bay Area Engineer, for picking up much of the completion work on this five year effort – including traveling to Tavueni, working in the field and judging student projects.
Jeff Weigel
Redondo Beach Rotary International Chair and WASUP VTT Leader
11 September 2017