The partners of the SAFEWATER project came together for the Annual Project Meeting hosted by University of Medellin and CTA in Colombia. Prof Kevin McGuigan and Dr Ester Feche Guimaraes of the External Advisory Board attended the full week. The annual meeting was a packed week of events, including introductions to the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, PVC for Research at the University of Medellin, and the CEO of CTA. Monday was an intensive project review meeting examining progress against all work packages. On Tuesday the group visited a rural community near Medellin to take part in a community-based workshop on water and to investigate the water source and access for the community. On Wednesday an intensive workshop focused on Research Governance was held, chaired by Professor Helene McNulty, with key presentations from Dr Ruth Price (Ulster), Nubia Palacio (PVC for Research, University of Medellin), Cataline Herrera (CTA), Prof Lyda Sabogal Paz, (University Sao Paulo) and Dr Fermin Reygadas (Cantaro Azul).
SAFEWATER Team and participants at the community workshop on water in Antioquia
SAFEWATER team examine a ruptured drinking water service reservoir.
On Thursday the team took part in the International Seminar: Technology, Water and Community, organised by CTA and hosted at the University of Medellin. This seminar was opened by the Dean of Engineering, the CEO of CTA, and the PVC for Research at University of Medellin. Prof Byrne, PI for SAFEWATER, gave the opening talk. Talks were presented by other invited speakers from public health and water organisations in Colombia. The SAFEWATER team gave presentations, including Dr Fermin Reygadas, Prof James Dooley, Dr Stephen Gallagher, Dr Jeremy Hamilton, Dr Santosh Gaihre, Prof Helene McNulty, and Dr Luis Montoya. Prof Kevin McGuigan, chair of the SAFEWATER External Advisory Board also presented. On Friday there was a meeting of the SAFEWATER External Advisory Board, with Prof McGuigan and Ester Feche Guimaraes (USPB Brazil) attending in person, and others joining via skype. The SAFEWATER Executive group then joined with the External Advisory Board for feedback which was overall very positive. Samuel Ginja and Santosh Gaihre are remaining in Medellin for a few weeks to undertake scoping exercises with the communities. A big thank you to Prof Margarita Hincapie and the team at University of Medellin, and Catalina Herrera and team at CTA, for organising this brilliant Annual Meeting of SAFEWATER, and the international Seminar.