Newsletter and Technical Publications
<International Source Book On Environmentally Sound Technologies
for Wastewater and Stormwater Management>
8.7 Training (Topic g)
Regionally there is a lack of adequately trained national personnel
within the water sector at all levels. Many utilities still rely on expatriates
to plan, operate and maintain water sector systems and project
Most utilities have some sort of in-house training for trades
personnel. Treatment plant operators
are often trained overseas through both utility and bilateral funding.
The American Samoan utility provides
training to other American associated SIDS using its own staff.
Buddy systems have been established where
personnel are exchanged to learn from each otherís utilities.
This system has appeared to work well.
Water sector engineers and planners are generally educated overseas on
bilateral scholarships. The University
of Lae in PNG has a school of engineering and has produced water sector
engineers that currently still practice in the Region. However many trained
national engineers and planners have left the Region in pursuit of higher
compensating employment in New Zealand, Australia and the USA.
Hence it is not only training but the
retention of trained personnel that has been an on going problem in the Region.
In past years PNG has had the facilities to provide water sector
training. However these facilities are
now not Regionally utilisation to its potential.
The University of the South Pacific located in Fiji and the University
of Guam contributes to the Regions human resources development.
Both universities run environment programs
but neither have specific water sector engineering programs.
Guam University does have a Water &
Environment Research Institute.
Often decision makers make discussions that are outside their field of
expertise because they are put in position as being the best person
Regional organisations like SOPAC, SPREP and SPC have provided water
sector training opportunities and short term expertise to the member
countries. The Water Resources Unit at
SOPAC currently tries to coordinate Regional water sector activities and
develop donor funded programs and projects.
SPREP also runs programs to assist in waste management. Regional workshop
like that ran by SOPAC on Appropriate and
Affordable Sanitation for Small Islands
bring together and expose local practitioners to current sanitation ideas.
The newly formed
Pacific Water and Wastewater Association (PWA) potentially will be able to
assist with training activities. It
gives utilities an opportunity to discuss comment problems that may have been
solved by another utility in the Region.
like UNEP, UNDP, WHO, UNESCO and ESCAP are all potential sources for Regional
training opportunities and have already contributed much to human resources
development in the Region.
Not only is more and
better training required in the Region but better incentives by utilities and
governments to retain qualified personnel.