Quentin Rea in Sri Lanka
Tsunami reliefA number of Mott MacDonald staff members have been directly involved in the attempts to aid stricken Asian communities, following the tsunami that devastated the area in December 2004. Quentin Rea, one of our water and wastewater engineers, spent three months working for charity Oxfam on the east coast of Sri Lanka.
In the immediate aftermath of the tsunami, people were housed wherever shelter could be found, many in schools. Come January the schools were needed for pupils returning to study, leading to the establishment of makeshift camps. Quentin was working on sanitary systems and water supply for these areas as well as helping the water board to rehabilitate the municipal water supply system of Batticaloa.
A new water treatment plant has also been developed on the Verugal River to supplement water wells being used to supply the settlements, which are beginning to show signs of over-use as water levels fall steadily. The plant is capable of producing 12 000 litres of drinking water per day, which will be expanded to 50 000 litres, enough drinking water for 5000 people. A second plant will be established using water from an irrigation reservoir. The treatment plants use a state-of-the-art membrane filter to remove virtually all suspended matter – converting cloudy river water to clear drinking water. The treated water is chlorinated to ensure that it cannot carry any pathogens to the consumers.
Additionally, colleagues from our Bangkok based company Thai DCI have worked at a consulting centre in Phuket set up by Thailand’s council of engineers, inspecting local buildings damaged in the tsunami. Kittpong Tanasanti, Somchai Achayanontgit, Praput Wongsomboonsin and Suwit Limtong – who heads up Thai DCI – inspected a hotel in Patong, a youth centre building and a Phuket municipality school before preparing reports reviewing safety and recommending repair works to help local efforts towards a rapid recovery.