Apprentices Improve Health Conditions Abroad

| By: Britten, Casey

For the second consecutive year, Fox Valley Technical College made up half of Team USA in the annual international Community Plumbing Challenge.

Fox Valley Tech’s members of Team USA are (left to right):
Peter Sedlar, Kerri Nevala, Randy Lorge, and Tyler Zeh




Each year the event involves the skills and expertise of plumbers and engineers from around the world in a collaborative approach to upgrade plumbing facilities for impoverished communities in underdeveloped nations. This year’s event was held in Diepsloot, South Africa, about 30 miles outside of Johannesburg, in an over-populated district in which about 60,000 people share the use of 700 public restrooms. Many of the residents live in sheet-metal homes or cardboard dwellings with waste water running through their small dirt-covered yards.

Some of the original and even recently-added restrooms no longer function because of deficiencies in the way they were constructed or due to vandalism. The Community Plumbing Challenge tradesmen and women designed, built, and installed eight new restrooms for the community. The new restroom concept will serve as a model for the citizens of Diepsloot so they can continue to upgrade their facilities while improving health conditions. A foundation was established after the participating teams from India, Australia, and the United States departed to raise funds to build more of these modern facilities based off of the teams’ model. The fourth team, South Africa, will oversee the project’s continuation in partnership with the fundraising effort.

Also for the second year in a row, engineering students from the Milwaukee School of Engineering joined FVTC’s plumbing apprentices to make up Team USA, in addition to faculty members and support staff.

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