27 January 2010
- Cambodian project
Tapping into the community
Accessing a tap in the village of Tenganan.
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Not a bridge too far – getting water to the people who need it.
Daniel Almagor is like a child in a lolly shop when he speaks of the village in Bali that has just got running water for the first time.
Mr Almagor, RMIT University Alumnus of the Year for 2009, heads Melbourne-based Engineers Without Borders Australia (EWB), the not-for-profit company responsible for the new water supply.
One by one, villages in Tenganan in eastern Bali were connected to clean, flowing water, liberating villagers from the slog normally associated with accessing supplies.
“These villagers had to walk about two hours to get access to water,” Mr Almagor said. “There’s a stream and a spring they got the water from. We helped them get the water from the spring to the villages and we just connected up the furthest village away.
“They’d never had running water before, they always had to walk down to the spring to get water and it was traditionally the women who did the work.’’
It is achievements like this that helped earn Mr Almagor the coveted title of RMIT’s Alumnus of the Year 2009.
In doing so, he followed in the footsteps of physicist, nanotechnologist and recipient of a Prime Minister’s Prize for Science, Dr Amanda Barnard, and Olympic gold medallist and business identity, James Tomkins.
Mr Almagor graduated from RMIT in 2001 with a double degree – a Bachelor of Engineering, with Honours, in Aerospace Engineering and a Bachelor of Business, with Distinction, in Business Administration.
Since then he has founded EWB, national flu vaccination company Medivax, and a property investment company, Small Giants. Mr Almagor also has a presence on boards, including the Jewish Museum of Australia.
“I see new businesses I want to be involved in every day,” he said. “Everywhere I look there’s an opportunity, but realistically I’m spread way too thin and I’m not good at saying No.”
His ‘‘day job” though is EWB. He takes no salary from the six-year-old company, so his other business ventures support his work.
A local brings water the old way – walking for 1.5 hours.
Water arrives at Bukit Kauh.