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The EOCP Gets on Board as a Founding Partner of Operators Without Borders
Hurricanes are again making headline news this week with Hurricane Florence pounding the East Coast of the US. Thus far, the Caribbean has been spared but the hurricane season has only just begun and will not abate until December – essentially, the plan is to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
Recovery, as seen from Puerto Rico and other Caribbean countries that were devastated by Irma and Maria last year, can take months or even years. As each island tackles its challenges, the support of qualified professionals is needed on site, specifically qualified water and wastewater Operators, millwrights, and plumbers to assist in repairing infrastructure and getting utilities up and running.
Last year 12 volunteers put their names forward and the first contingent went to Dominica. Canadian Operators, Jason Mank, Marcel Misuraca, and Glen Ketchum made a huge difference in the lives of the residents there. During their two-week assignment they restored water service to three villages as well as getting the wastewater treatment plant up and running.
"The EOCP is delighted to become a Founding Partner of Operators Without Borders. The EOCP serves Operators in British Columbia and Yukon, and it makes sense for us to support an Operator focused non-profit organization. We see the work of Operators Without Borders as something that is long overdue and will give our Operators a chance to give back to their peers in less fortunate countries". - Kalpna Solanki, CEO, EOCP.
As the organization overseeing certification of water and wastewater professionals, the EOCP is in a unique position to help. Although other volunteers have not as yet been deployed, arrangements are being made to ensure Operators are ready to go. At its inaugural tradeshow and conference, the Environmental Operators Certification Program (EOCP) announced its support of Operators Without Borders (OWB). As part of the launch, a lunchtime presentation was made that resulted in 14 Operators signing up. Along with this, vendors at the tradeshow ran a silent auction that resulted in enough funds being raised to cover airfare for one Operator.
"Having worked in the Caribbean region for the last decade I have seen that the Operators there are dedicated and willing. However, they do not have access to the types of training that are commonplace in Canada. Furthermore, they lack the resources that we take for granted in Canada. In talking to the volunteers that went to Dominica, it soon became apparent that we could go beyond disasters and send volunteers to help their Caribbean peers working alongside them showing them how to operate their systems effectively and efficiently. Therefore, we will consider requests from Utilities to send our volunteers to train and mentor." – Valerie Jenkinson, Founder, Operators Without Borders
Volunteers find the experience challenging and very rewarding. Operators interested in volunteering, covering airfare, or sponsoring an Operator, can contact Valerie Jenkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Page Updated Last on: Sep 17, 2018