Practical work begins for BMT’s Charitable Sustainability Project
BMT Group Ltd has announced that the first spade has hit the ground in the town of Khintla, located in the Indian province of Gujarat, where the group is working in a charitable partnership with the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme India (AKRSP (India)) to provide new sewage and sanitation facilities.
BMT, the international design, engineering and risk management consultancy, recently extended the scope of its philanthropic project to include toilets for over 125 homes in the village. Del Redvers, Head of Sustainability at BMT Group comments: "The premise behind the original programme was to design and construct a low cost drainage and sewage treatment system. This is still very much the plan but what quickly became apparent following lengthy discussions with the villagers was that we could add more value by creating a system which could be directly plumbed into toilets, which almost none of the homes have at present."
Engineers within BMT have been working hard over the last eight months to better understand and overcome the technical challenges associated with delivering such a project. Del Redvers continues: "Our desire with this project has always been to use the skills, knowledge and expertise that our 1,300 employees across the globe have built over the years to address problems that impact negatively on people's lives. Although the scope of the project has changed, it is an extremely positive one. The ingenuity of our consultants means we can deliver a more effective project and bring a better quality of life to this poor, but vibrant rural community."
With a dedicated project team situated in the nearby town of Sayla, AKRSP (India) is managing the construction work, as well as educating the villagers on water related issues. The labour will be carried out by the local community so that the project funding is also benefiting the people in the surrounding area.
Apoorva Oza, Chief Executive Officer of AKRSP (India) comments: "Water borne diseases such as dysentery and typhoid, kills thousands of children in the country every year. This programme is set to make a real difference to people's lives within the village and we are grateful to BMT for their commitment to such a worthy and life changing cause."
Once the programme has been completed BMT will donate the IP rights of the sewage system design to the AKRSP (India) who will seek to replicate the design and specification so that other villages throughout India can benefit from such a solution.