Projects Take Off while Face Masks are Put On: Clearford India Q3 2020 Update
By Sanjay Deshpande, Executive Director & Head of Operations, Clearford India
The first quarter of 2020 began with an action plan to complete four projects by the end of the Indian financial year and to pursue further opportunities with existing and new clients. However, the COVID-19 pandemic led to an entire country lockdown which put a halt to all on-site efforts throughout quarter 2. During this time, the Clearford India team discussed the best way to adapt to the pandemic restrictions and developed a project-based plan to continue work upon the re-opening of India.
As quarter 3 approached and the economy began to re-open, the country-wide lockdown was lifted and Clearford was quick to finishing the installation of the Clearford ClearDigest anaerobic biodigesters at the Plot Pada site in the State of Maharashtra and completing the commission of two projects: Palavasna Village (Phase 1) and Alwa Village (Phase 2) in the State of Gujarat.
With a strategy in place, our dynamic team was able to stay on track with our projects, even within the COVID-19 regulations and the additional challenge of working during the monsoon months (June through September). To protect our clients and team, it is imperative to take the proper steps in maintaining social distance, wearing face masks, and following the myriad of other PPE requirements.
At the Alwa site, our Clearford India team took additional precautions to further ensure safety to our customers by sequestering all our labour in empty homes within the village to mitigate daily site travel and risk of infection.
Pictured: Palavasna Village Inauguration & Commissioning
Although COVID-19 has resulted in some setbacks, it has also brought new perspectives and adaptability methods within the water and wastewater industry. Numerous Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) conferences scattered globally have now transitioned to online platforms. This new normal of virtual events have made attendance more accessible, which would normally have required a significant budget, travel, and time outlays. Clearford India has taken advantage of online events by virtually speaking at the Innovate4Water Brisbane conference (August 5-7, 2020) and moderating the World Water Week – At Home (WWWH) session on WASH Systems, Sustainability, and Resilience at the WWWH event (August 26, 2020), showcasing the Clearford One system.
When looking at the remainder of 2020 and what’s to come for 2021, Clearford India remains committed in seeing through existing projects and establishing new clients, while being mindful of the developments of COVID-19. Recently, there has been news of a second wave of COVID-19 in India. Clearford India continues to do their part in preventing the spread of the virus by strategizing best practices, curating adaptability methods, and exercising maximum safety efforts by developing a strict set of guidelines for all our project sites that include:
- All contractor and Clearford staff, labourers, and other visitors to project sites must wear masks;
- Hand sanitizer and or soap must be used to wash hands at:
- Start of work;
- End of work; and,
- After coming in contact with any outsider during work hours.
- After coming in contact or being near a person who is ill, coughing, sneezing;
- Washing of face with soap and water must also be done at the same time;
- During non-work times, we have instructed all contractor and Clearford staff as well as labourers to wear masks when outside of their homes and wash hands and face after returning;
- Sequestering of labour in empty homes in village to decrease travel contact risk;
- All new labour being brought into the village will be checked to make sure they are showing no signs of the virus before bringing to the village. If any symptoms are visible, they will not be permitted access to the village;
- Thermal check and oxygen saturation measuring devices made available and our contractors local staff trained how to use them so that checks on the labour can be done at the start of every work day. Test results are to be recorded and kept;
- As social distancing has been found to be effective at reducing the spread of the virus but is difficult to maintain at a construction site; all workers at the site will be taught to maintain a 2m social distance where possible during and after work hours;
- All additional guidelines as issued by the relevant authorities whether National, State or Local that are applicable to the project area will be followed as and when they are brought out; and,
- If any employee is diagnosed or suspected of being infected by the COVID-19 virus they will be immediately sent/taken to a government medical centre for checking. All other people who came into contact with that person will be either isolated or taken to the government isolation centre as per applicable regulations.