A tale of two cities (or two very different tales of Mer Island in the Torres Strait)
A brief report on the project from Housing for Health Manager on Mer Island, Greg Norman:
In late 2009 HOUSING FOR HEALTH started community consultation on Murray Island, TSI QLD. After several visits, SURVEY FIX 1 was agreed to commence on 19/4/2010. In tow we had one licenced plumber and two apprentice electricians. all locals from the Torres Strait. Over 20 island residents participated in SURVEY FIX 1.
SURVEY FIX 1 identified works to be carried out including water leaks, non compliant gas installations, hot water and stove unit replacement and various light switches, fittings and power points replacement. Much of the work was due to the severe marine environment. These works were addressed over the next seven months and saw many water supply leaks fixed, over 50 hot water and 20 stove units replaced, dozens of sets of tap ware replaced and barge loads of electrical fittings.. The repair of the water leaks reduced the loss of water to the community by one third.
SURVEY FIX 2 on 29/11/2010 saw again over 25 island residents participating in the survey teams, catering and administration. The last night of survey saw a feast of local delectable produce where William Akee presented the HOUSING FOR HEALTH team with a coconut Dari representing the appreciation of the island community to the contribution the project had made to the community and housing.
The next day a large crowd saw us off at the airstrip and there was not a dry eye when we had to leave. This would have to have been one of the most engaging HOUSING FOR HEALTH projects perfectly suited to the conditions in the Torres Strait.