DAISY TANIOVA PAWA
TWO architecture and building students of the University of Technology participated in a two week voluntary programme constructing 14 latrines in Keigold village in Solomon Islands two months ago.
This was in response to an invitation made by the Emergency Architects of Australia (EAA).
The students Mathew Sagi, a fourth year student, and Lucia Kua, a final year student, joined 15 other students from the University of Queensland in Solomon Islands.
EAA is an organisation which assists communities that have lost their homes and livelihood through natural or man made disasters.
They provided assistance by working along with aid agencies, governments, local communities and funding institutions to rebuild devastated areas.
The community of Keigold was previously located on the sea side village of Mondo until an earthquake in 2007 caused a landslide which destroyed their homes forcing them to relocate inland.
EAA has seen the need to establish and rebuild shelter and housing for 66 displaced families. Latrines will provide for the basic need of sanitation.
The students were split ed into seven groups representing seven zones. They were also assisted by the villagers in these zones.
The villagers cut and provided the timber that was used to build the latrines.
Both students said that the villagers had similar lifestyles to PNG.
They also said that they were privileged to have been given the opportunity to work with EAA.
They said learning to plan, and find the types of materials and to take them to the site were some of “the most important lessons”.
As a token of their appreciation to the department and Unitech, the chief of the village presented the students with a small stone carving made from a stone which is only found in Keigold.