Water Authority hosts career day for college students
An educational awareness program was hosted by the Samoa Water Authority (S.W.A.) on Wednesday for colleges and schools on Upolu, under the theme “Be a water professional”.
The program was held at the S.W.A. Office Vaitele, kicked off with an opening sermon by Wesley College Principle Rev. Aliilelei Lefua Leaana followed by the keynote addressed by the SWA Acting Managing Director Mr. Tafeamaalii Philip Kerslake.
The whole purpose of the awareness programs for schools was to promote career opportunities in different areas and divisions inside the Authority.
There were twelve colleges that participated in the day’s events including St. Mary’s College, Papauta College, Chanel College, Faatuatua College, Wesley College, Samoa College, St Joseph College, Leulumoega College, Leifiifi College, Lefaga College, Aleipata College and Robert Louis Stevenson College. All schools spent 20 minutes in each of the eight booths and divisions in the Authority, learning about their services and operations and what that means for the country.
In an interview with S.W.A’s acting Director Tafeamalii Philip Kerslake he said the day was to allow students to explore possible future career opportunities.
“Be a water professional is to promote career opportunities within the S.W.A, each division will display what they carry out to encourage school children and youths to see what options they have in the future. It’s a broad range of expertise that we need, like technicians, plumbing, engineering, IT sides and other sectors and make [students] aware of what career paths they can have within the Samoa Water Authority,” said Tafeamalii.
“This initiative is the first time we have carried out public relations, over the years we have promoted through advertisements, but we did a career day to encourage schools as to opportunities available for the future.
“The challenges in the past were a lack of engineers, but lately it’s been partly improved so we just want to encourage kids in other areas.”
The Samoa Observer also spoke to students to gauge their interest in the S.W.A. awareness programme.
Sam Savelio, a year 13 student at Lefaga College said “There are a lot of important lessons I learned from today’s [Wednesday] program. I have learned that there are different work opportunities inside the Authority but not only for plumbers. There are electricians, engineers, accountants, and others. Another good thing I have learned was recycling of waste water by using chemicals to kill germs and to minimize the pollution on our environment.”
Miss Natsumi Hikurani of Leifiifi College shared that she found the programme useful learning of services available and work being done by the Authority.
“This program is very useful for us, not only to learn about the service and the hard work provided by the employees in the different divisions, but also we learned how to value and save the water, not wasting it. Unfortunately, the waste water system was the most challenging division for me but they did their best with filtrations, treatment and processing their services,” said Hikurani.
All schools that participated performed a skit using the theme “Value the Water” with the winning skit going to Wesley College, second place awarded to Faatuatua College, and third place went to Aleipata College. There were consolation prizes for all schools involved.
All judges were Managers of the S.W.A. divisions and in an interview with John Mauli, Manager of Communications Information Technology, he said that “The skit was well prepared, and the message they brought to us was really good… especially in water conservation. There are several schools that went beyond and talked about other aspects of ‘water’ which is good to see. That’s feedback for the management.”
The eight division and booths promoted and displayed were – the Urban Division, that works on Non-Revenue Water and Leakages and their distribution factors such as pipe replacements, bulk meter readings, treatment plant operations (systematic flushing etc.), unidentified leaks, and poo pressure control.
The second booth was the Savaii Operation Division that went over the Slow Sand Water Filtration System and Treatment Plant at Palauli. They said that slow sand filtrations have been an effective water treatment process for preventing the spread of gastrointestinal diseases for over 150 years.
The Third Booth was the Waste Water Division that deals with waste water services and drilling. The Division operates pressure sewer systems and the waste water treatment plant in the aim of helping the public to safely dispose of waste water.
Their service prevents foul smells and population caused by waste water and septic tanks. The fourth division was the Rural Division, that works on the Rapid Sand Filter and they talked about the process of filtration pure physical drinking water purifications and a multiple-stage treatment system including removal of relatively large suspended particles.
The fifth division was the Technical Division including four units, Planning and Designs, Assets Management, Water Quality and Procurement. Each unit has different work factors but all merge with the technical process of every project in the Samoa Water Authority.
The Asset Management unit is responsible for keeping track of new assets, helping in surveying areas for new projects, whereas the Planning and Design unit is responsible for designing new water supply systems and treatment systems for S.W.A. They also draft new network systems, design report writing of construction methods, risk assessment and environmental impact assessments.
The Water Quality unit is responsible for monitoring and testing water quality as well as correcting any errors encountered during processes. The Procurement Unit is responsible for taking care of the Tender process for new projects.
The sixth division was the Communication and Information Technology division that talked about the usefulness, the helpfulness, and the reliability of their software called SCADA which makes work easier for all the employees.
The seventh department was the Commercial division, which deals with new connections, billings, debt recovery and accounts.
And the eighth division was the Corporate Management and Managing Director – that covers Administration, Human Resources, Public Relations, Audits and Legal Consultants.