Four graduates of the HKL Pinkafeld in Austria travelled together with Prof. Dipl. Ing. Ulrich Spener to Togo in West Africa in August to implement their Matura project, which dealt with a clean and hygienic water supply for a school in Lomé. JUDO supported this project with a water treatment plant.
In the Lycée de Lomé Port, a high school with 3,000 students, which is located in one of the poorest districts of the capital of Togo, in Lomé, catastrophic sanitary conditions prevailed until this year’s August. For the students and the surrounding inhabitants of the school there was only one draw well with heavily polluted and contaminated water and only six simple and heavily polluted toilets.
In order to make these conditions a thing of the past once and for all, two graduates of the construction and building services engineering departments of the HTL Pinkafeld travelled to the school and, together with 30 students from the Lycée, built a new well with a depth of 21 metres, a six-metre high water tower made of wood and installed a JUDO water treatment system in order to be able to provide the students and the local population with between 2.5 and 3 m³ of clean and no longer health-endangering water per hour. However, the project is far from being completed as the accompanying professor and project supervisor Dipl.- Ulrich Spener from the HTL explains: “Only clean water is not enough, in December we plan to implement the next step, which is the construction of a new sanitary building with showers and toilets, but for this we urgently need further donations”.
Again, students or graduates of the HTL should travel to Togo together with Prof. Wolfgang Leeb in order to realise the sanitary house as part of their final thesis.
The long-term and sustainable cooperation of the two schools is the main focus, not only to provide clean water, but also to effect a transfer of knowledge under the motto “help for self-help”. This has already been achieved by teaching the 30 students of the Lycée how to work with the material wood, how to make bricks and how to make concrete. This manual skill can help them to survive in the future.
“It was a very exciting journey for everyone involved, with unforgettable experiences for life and very touching, formative and beautiful moments,” reports Jakob Hofbauer, a graduate of the building services engineering department. One such moment was to see how joyfully and gratefully people accepted the “new” clean water, adds Hans Peter Pratscher, a graduate of the building services department. “In spite of some difficulties, it was possible to complete this elaborate work in a little less than two weeks, an indescribable achievement of all those involved, which shows what can be achieved together with an ambitious team, I am very proud of my former students”, Ulrich Spener concludes.