A project in Zambia is currently underway.
What We Did
EWB-UAH worked jointly with the Huntsville professional chapter of EWB to construct a well and clean water distribution system in Migori, Kenya, in 2007. This system serves an orphanage of over 150 children and a hospital that sees more than 1000 patients each month.
Previously, these facilities had limited access to water. Water borne illnesses are a tremendous problem in this region of Kenya. As this hospital is the only medical facility in the area, and patients walk as far as twenty miles to receive treatment, it’s vital that a clean source of water be present there. The orphanage, which is one of the few refuges for a generation of children left homeless by the ravages of HIV, was likewise in need of a safe water source.
Along with the Huntsville EWB professional chapter, EWB-UAH worked with KenyaRelief.org on this project. This is a philanthropic organization founded in part by medical professionals at Huntsville Hospital. KenyaRelief.org supports the orphanage and hospital in Migori, and employs the in-country aid workers who housed and supported us in Kenya.
How We Did It
EWB-UAH is fortunate to have an experienced well designer on board, a professional engineer with Army Corps of Engineers expertise uniquely suited to this problem. Our water system, like all Engineers Without Borders systems, will be sustainable by the local population. The people of Migori should be able to operate, maintain, and repair the system with resources that are affordable and locally available. One slogan of EWB is “low-tech, high-impact.” This means that our system should be as simple, and benefit as many people, as possible.
EWB-UAH meets weekly to research, design, and work logistics. We work with the coaching and oversight of professional engineers and the support of faculty. But the design work is done by students. This is a chance for students to get real-world engineering experience and work one-on-one with veteran engineers from numerous Huntsville companies. We conducted an engineering assessment trip to Migori prior to the completion of this project.