East Timor water project gets international attention
A PROJECT to improve the quality of drinking water in East Timor has had a major boost, thanks to a story in The Northern Star.
Former Lismore man Christopher Ryan has started a non-profit social enterprise called Every Single Drop and he hopes to get oil and gas companies working in Timor to invest in water infrastructure to supply clean drinking water to remote villages.
After a story appeared in The Northern Star and on our website on August 22, Mr Ryan said he has been inundated with emails.
He said engineers and NGOs from as far away as France have been in contact, along with Timor's consulate general in Canberra and Western Australia's honorary consul for Timor, Dr Barry Mendelawitz.
Mr Ryan said many organisations working in the field would have Google alerts set up for East Timor or water which would have picked up The Northern Star story.
He said the response had helped "validate the project" and build his network of contacts.
"It's an important step forward for a start-up to build that groundwork," Mr Ryan said.
He has a Masters in Business Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability from the University of Exeter in Britain and is doing research work in international development at Curtin University in WA.
He said the inspiration for the project came from when he was working for oil and gas companies in Africa.
The next step is to go back to East Timor to begin a pilot program in the Oecussi-Ambeno province with Oxfam.
He has also been in contact with Rotary who are working with an engineer from Melbourne to set up filtration that will reduce water-borne diseases and kill viruses.
"All of these people contacted me because of your article. My network is building," Mr Ryan said.