Newcastle engineers celebrate World Water Day in Borneo

22nd March 2016

This World Water Day, students from Newcastle University are in rural Borneo, where they are doing their bit to improve access to safe water and sanitation. The team of 20 students, who are currently undertaking final year Master’s Degrees with Newcastle University’s School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, are currently working alongside communities to install gravity-fed water systems and sanitation blocks for up to 300 people.

The programme is part of a partnership between Raleigh and Newcastle University, which aims to makes use of the expertise the engineers have gained through their course; designing and building infrastructure to bring safe water and sanitation to some of Borneo’s most remote communities. The partnership also gives the volunteers an opportunity to develop their personal and professional skills in a challenging environment. During the programme, the students are assessed by Raleigh staff on specific criteria which include project management, teamwork and leadership.


Leading up to the programme, the students produced basic plans and took part in training. They also conducted feasibility studies and produced concept designs for a gravity-fed water supply system. As part of this, they considered the social and environmental impacts of the work, undertaking comprehensive risk assessments and discussing how to ensure the impact of their work with the community is positive and long lasting.

663 million people globally still lack access to safe water. Between 2000 and 2015, halving the percentage of people without access to safe drinking water halved, but there is still so much work to be done. Raleigh believes that everyone deserves access to clean water.

Since Raleigh International was formed over 30 years ago we have recognised that partnerships play a crucial role in creating lasting change. Want to find out more?