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Providing drinking water supply to Sichuan Earthquake Resettlement Camp

Nov 2009
China
10000 people reached

In May 2008, a major earthquake struck China’s Sichuan province, killing and injuring many people, leaving the survivors without many amenities, including fresh drinking water. This was the case in Shengli village, a resettlement camp near Beichuan County - one of the worst affected areas. 

Borouge joined Lien Aid, a nongovernmental organisation (NGO), and the Singapore Water Association, to alleviate the water problem for the 10,000 population of the village, by launching the “Drop of Hope” project. Borouge supplied the polyethylene material to Szechuan Chinaust, who produced and delivered the pipes to Shengli village, 300 km away. The 2 km pipeline was completed in just a couple of days, thanks to the flexibility and ease of handling of the pipe.

On May 12th 2008, a major earthquake struck China’s Sichuan province and killed more than 69,000, injuring a further 374,000 people and destroying 10 million homes. Whole towns and villages are now in the process of reconstruction, with the help of many NGOs.

Shengli village located in Leigu town is the nearest resettlement camp from Beichuan County - one of the worst affected areas. The earthquake flattened Beichuan and killed three quarters of the population. Although reconstruction has begun, progress is still slow and getting access to clean drinking water is one of the major problems.

In Shengli, the government worked quickly to provide a temporary supply, but floods in September destroyed the temporary pipelines, leaving the people to boil water transported from the reservoir.

NGO – Industry partnership

Borouge joined Lien Aid, an NGO, and the Singapore Water Association, to alleviate the water problem for the 10,000 population of the village, by launching the “Drop of Hope” project. The agreement was signed on 13th October 2008, and within three months, the project was completed, using PE100 pipelines donated by Borouge, installed to bring water from the reservoir to the mobile water treatment system donated by SWA and LIEN Aid. The water treatment system uses reverse osmosis filtration to clean water from the nearby rivers and mountain streams, to produce water that could be drunk without the need for boiling.

Solution using polyethylene pipes

Borouge supplied the polyethylene material to Szechuan Chinaust, one of their major customers in China. During two weeks in December 2008, the 160 mm diameter, 16 bar pipes were produced at their plant and delivered by trucks to Shengli village, 300 km away.

The installation of the 2 km pipeline was completed in just a couple of days, thanks to the flexibility and ease of handling of the pipe. The high resistance to slow crack growth of the BorSafe HE3490LS material meant that it could be installed directly into the trench, using the “as dug” material as backfill.

The mobile water treatment system was assembled in Singapore and arrived in a container in February. Today, the fully operating system supplies the Shengli village’s community of 10,000 people with about 60,000 litres of clean drinking water each day.

Celebrating the completion of project

On February 26, 2009 – there was much excitement in the air at Shengli village, as the villagers dressed in colourful traditional costumes of the Qiang ethnic minority performed dances and sang to the completion of the “Drop of Hope” project, inaugurating the supply of clean drinking water to the village. The villagers were extremely pleased with their new water supply system. One villager said:

After the quake, we used to get water ourselves but before long, tap water was available. It is convenient now. We had to boil water previously, but now we can drink it from the tap, it is very good.

Shengli Villager

Another resident said: “It’s convenient. They built the water pipes in the house, and water comes from taps now.” This is another socially driven project under the umbrella of Borouge and Borealis joint initiative “Water for the World”. We send our best wishes to the people of Shengli village, who touched us with their resilience and strength of mind after such a disaster.