In order to focus on a challenge area that would have the greatest impact on Cape York residents, we looked at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. This highlighted the impact water availability could have on the drive towards self-actualisation. Given the harsh climate and remote location this aspect of life is even more pertinent.
Through extensive research, we chose to select domestic rainwater harvesting as the basis for our project. Rainwater systems have a low capital cost, but more importantly a low running cost. This is vital as the average income is just two thirds of the national average - expensive systems won't be welcomed and will eventually fall into disrepair. It is also particularly suited to areas with one wet season per year.
The people are the focus of our project. There will be frequent public consultation and engagement throughout, from the planning stage to aftercare. Many projects have failed, both globally and in Cape York, because the wants and needs of the community are ignored.
We also aim to increase social mobility by offering plumbing and construction courses to members of the community alongside the construction phase. These will run to Certificate II standard, enabling participants to move onto subsequent apprenticeships.
Our project will enable residents to remain in Country all year round, as opposed to the annual migration many are currently forced into. This will have tangible benefits in many facets of life, from health through schooling to employment and income.
Please take a look at our project report for further detail.