Wed | Apr 1, 2020

Women whet appetite as rookie plumbers

Published:Wednesday | February 26, 2020 | 12:19 AMDanae Hyman/Staff Reporter

Standing out among their male counterparts, 15 women will now be added to the force of Jamaican plumbers islandwide after being certified as utility wardens yesterday.

The utility warden programme was implemented through the Jamaica Social Investment Fund’s integrated community development project aimed at providing advance plumbing, leak detection, and repair training to at-risk youths from 18 communities in seven parishes across Jamaica.

According to 24-year-old Tavajay Tennant, her drive to pursue the skill first began with her one-time partner but soon grew into a desire to inspire other women.

“There is just mostly men in plumbing now and we will be the competition and to show that not only the men can do it but we can do it, too, and even better. I just want women to feel inspired and know that they can do anything,” Tennant said.

Seeking to also conserve water islandwide by fixing one leak at a time, starting with her Seaview Garden community, Tennant said that she hopes to join forces with other plumbers to launch a public education campaign on saving water and money.

“Many organisations, especially hotels, have leaks, and they are not even aware of it. Some homes have leaks and the owners don’t know, so we will help people in the community and the surroundings to conserve water,” said Tennant, who was also awarded top participator in 2019 utility warden graduation ceremony yesterday.

Another graduate who is excited about kick-starting her career as a plumber said she is now equipped to fix her own pipes instead of hiring someone else.

“Me feel like me can manage myself in this, and I love it. I got started when there was an expo over there and they introduced me to the class and I was very interested,” said Kamau Brown, who is eager to start her own company.

The 34-year-old resident of Denham Town in west Kingston disclosed that her community often suffered from broken pipes and leaks and hopes she can lend a helping hand to ultimately uplift her neighbourhood with helping herself along with other community members to save.

One of the males in the graduating party, Bryan Campbell, said that while he was happy to share the spotlight with his female counterparts, he believes that women will mainly focus on the digital aspects of plumbing.

“You won’t find much females doing the practical because it is much more technical and advanced and needs a man’s strength, ... so there won’t be much competition,” Campbell said.

It is understood that discussions are under way with the National Water Commission to employ the newly trained utility wardens.