On April 30th, 2020, a first Online-Seminar has been held employing AHT's newly developed e-learning platform AHT Academy. The Online-Seminar was AHT's response to travel restrictions due to coronavirus in order to continue supporting water utilities in Albania. AHT's current project "EU Support to Waste Water Management and Treatment Services (EUSWAM)" aims to improve the performance of six selected water utilities (WU) along the coast of Albania as well as improve the operation and maintenance of eight coastal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). For this GIZ funded project AHT partners with Dorsch and ICE.
The Online-Seminar with the title "Emergency response of WUs towards emergency situations" should provide participants (WU managers, WWTP managers and laboratory staff, GIZ representatives as well as representatives of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy) with information on how to deal with coronavirus as water and wastewater service providers.
The Online-Seminar addressed the participants' insecurities in dealing with the pandemic situation by presenting information on infection potential and protection on WWTPs (incl. experience from several other countries) and on health and safety of staff when working in sewers and on WWTPs (e.g. maintenance, repairs). Further, the importance of an Emergency Response Plan in such circumstances was pointed out. The significance of personal protection was emphasized with special regard to precautions for sampling and analysing samples as well as quality adherence. Additionally, insecurities were clarified, and risks were put into perspective.
AHT plans to develop and conduct further Online-Seminars through its e-learning platform AHT Academy to provide continuous support and training even though face-to-face training is currently not permitted due to coronavirus restrictions.