READY TO RACE: Fifty firms will be pitting brain and brawn against oneanother in the Civils 2002 RedR Challenge to raise cash for one of the profession's best loved charities.
Two huge car parks right alongside the Civils 2002 exhibition hall will be transformed into a refugee camp for the day. The challenge facing teams will be to use their planning skills, practical initiative and some degree of muscle and stamina to design, resource and build a water supply system for the camp.
To mirror, and of course highlight the challenges faced by RedR sponsored relief workers every day in the field, teams will have to not only decide how they will solve the water supply problem, but also buy the necessary equipment using credits picked up in mental and physical agility tests. They will then face transportation challenges to get their equipment to site, and finally the ultimate test of building a system of pipes to carry water from one side of the camp to the other.
With 50 teams competing in the event, there will be over 200 people at the NEC, either pumped up with adrenaline and ready for competition or exhausted, exhilarated and, perhaps, a little wet. But as with all RedR events, the greatest challenge is to raise money so that the charity's vital training and relief coordination work can continue.
Kosovo was the finest example in recent years of what engineering disaster relief charity RedR can do, reckons director Bobby Lambert. More than 100 RedR volunteers were placed with different aid agencies with 85 of them going to Oxfam alone.
But in the last year RedR engineers have been working, just as examples, in Azerbaijan, Chechnya, Honduras, Angola, Eritrea, Mozambique, Rwanda and Sierra Leone. 'The big crises are the ones people hear about but there are a lot of little crises all the time and getting people out to help with them is just as important, ' Lambert says.