The Paul Pholeros Foundation was established in 2018 to honour the work and life of Paul Pholeros. While Paul’s professional education was in Architecture, he dedicated much of his life to improving the housing and environmental conditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people in Australia, and then extended his reach to other countries whose populations struggle to access basic water and sanitation facilities.
In 2007 Paul started working with the families in Bhattedanda village, Nepal, to improve sanitation conditions. Toilets and waste removal systems – septic or biogas – were constructed for 58 homes, along with rainwater storage tanks. He and his organisation Healthabitat then started working on school based toilet systems along with international partners IAPMO and WorldSkills.
Recognising Paul’s lifelong commitment to improving people’s lives, the Paul Pholeros Foundation continues his legacy through investment in the people who can bring about real change and who will raise sanitation and living standards in marginalised communities.
The PPF 2019 team and Village Stupa Sanitation Construction Project
In March-April 2019 the PPF team of Aidan Ward, plumber, and Marcus Gleeson, media expert, worked on a village based sanitation construction project in Bhattedanda, inspected existing village toilets to assess if there is any ongoing damage after the earthquakes in 2015 (result….no damage to the septic and biogas systems), connected with the public health team at the nearby Dhulikhel Hospital, and worked closely with the village construction and plumbing teams to share knowledge and skills.
The Bhattedanda villagers now see clearly the benefits of well constructed sanitation systems and requested a community toilet/shower block be built adjacent to the site of a Buddhist stupa and nearby small monastery, the “gomba” – a place in the forest where people gather for religious and community events, monks come for meditation, and cremations are carried out at the nearby “ghat”, burning ground.
There was no water supply, no toilet, no washing place at this site.
The PPF team worked with the village teams to build this very fine facility with 3 toilet cubicles and 1 shower each side for females and males. The toilets, showers and handwash basins drain into a septic system with soakage trenches. The villagers are very proud of this amenity and have employed a caretaker to ensure it is cleaned every day and is appropriately maintained. We recognise also the contributions of architects Jasper Ludewig and Harry Catterns, who designed the sanitation block.
The villagers dedicated this very important block to the memory of “Paul Sir” in recognition of his long term commitment to their village.
Funds for the village toilet/shower block construction were raised through the Nepal Village Development Project, RAWCS Project 66/2007-08.
The Paul Pholeros Foundation Limited is a not for profit charity registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission. ACN 625 347 882.