We recently held our Joint Design Workshop, which brings together the Student Design Teams and the Senior Committee to reflect on our past and present Water, Sanitation and Hygiene projects. By focusing on design, this annual workshop helps our Student Chapters to learn how to apply their globally transferable skills to a local context in order to deliver community-led solutions that align with our 5-year Business Plan for East Cameroon.

Student Team Updates

The day began with volunteers from the recent field trip highlighting the main outcomes of their research and detailing their subsequent design developments; Having successfully delivered three clean water projects (pumped wells) in Mbele Mbeke, Mbangué and Tongo Gandima in East Cameroon in 2017, the Southampton Student Chapter is now focusing on refining the well designs and the associated implementation strategies ready to deliver two further wells in Garoua Yaka and Petit Bello in 2018.

” Having successfully delivered three clean water projects, the Southampton Student Chapter is now focusing on refining the well designs and the associated implementation strategies ready to deliver two further wells in Garoua Yaka and Petit Bello in 2018″

Meanwhile, the Birmingham Student Chapter will deliver our Sanitation Solution (latrines) to the three villages that received the clean water projects in 2017. During the workshop members from the Birmingham Student Chapter presented their research into latrine design, which led to their selection of the Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrine solution.

Latrine Conceptual Design

Latrine Conceptual Design proposed by the Birmingham Team

Senior Committee Presentations

With each well costing £7,500 to construct and each latrine £5,500, the workshop was also an opportunity to outline our progress against our fundraising targets for the year ahead. Cameroon Catalyst Fundraising Manager James Warbey and Grants Coordinator Chloe Taylor detailed our fundraising strategy moving forwards and Head of Marketing Alexandra Lyons introduced the team to some helpful techniques for publicising and promote our events and projects.

We then heard from our Head of Health and Safety (H&S), Safia Whiteman, about the importance of considering all aspects of H&S throughout the project lifecycle; ensuring we make every reasonable effort to mitigate or minimise any risks during design, construction and operation.

The agenda also featured a thought-provoking presentation from our Latrine Design Coordinator, Leigh Jones, who spoke about his involvement in ‘SaniBox’ with University College London; a portable, low-cost sewage treatment unit for areas of natural disaster or crisis. It was constructive for Cameroon Catalyst to learn about other current development projects and encouraged further research into similar ventures. If you would like to read more from Leigh, he has produced an opinion piece comparing volunteering oversees when he began at university in the sixties and the current day.

Team Awards

At the end of the workshop, our Chair and Trustees awarded certificates to the 2017 Field Trip Team and thanked them for their contributions in Cameroon, shortly followed by some networking with the students and committee members in the local pub!