Water hygiene expert to help remote rainforest communities in expedition of a life-time

CHEDBURGH: John Williams is fund-raising to go to Borneo to provide safe water and sanitation facilities'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150729-205234009
CHEDBURGH: John Williams is fund-raising to go to Borneo to provide safe water and sanitation facilities'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150729-205234009
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A water hygiene specialist is fund-raising for the expedition of a life-time to help remote communities in the Borneo rainforest access clean water.

John Williams, of Chedburgh, learnt last Friday that he has landed the role of volunteer project manager with sustainable development charity Raleigh International for the initiative.

From September 20 to December 18, he will work with groups of young volunteers in the poorest parts of the Sabah region of Malaysian Borneo to provide safe water and sanitation facilities and educate communities on the issue. The 36-year-old is paying his travel expenses from his own pocket but needs to raise £1,950 by around August 12 as a donation to Raleigh for the initiative.

Mr Williams said: “Over 40 per cent of the region doesn’t have access to safe, clean water or sanitation facilities.

“Diarrhoea is responsible for killing more children than AIDs, malaria and measles combined and that is just one of the many diseases that are attributed to ineffective sanitation and unclean water.

“It’s our job when they get there to work on a project - it could be anything from laying pipelines, building dams or sanitation facilities.

“It’s one of the best opportunities I’ve ever been given.”

It will be the chance to put his skills as a Legionella risk assessor and water hygiene consultant to good use as he has been out of work following a lengthy period of rehab for a spinal injury. Earlier this month he completed a two week wilderness survival training course with TV bushcraft expert Ray Mears.

On his return from the course, he called Raleigh International to offer his services and was invited to their headquarters in London last Thursday before being offered the post. Mr Williams aims to organise some fund-raising events, which will be confirmed next week.

Donations can also be made at www.justgiving.com/johnwilliams-79