As we enter the season of giving, some local engineers have really taken that spirit to great heights – and distances. ACEC California members Kleinfelder and CH2M Hill, along with local engineering students, recently completed a project to build freshwater spring boxes in the Kenyan village of Shisasari.
The project was organized by the Sacramento Professional Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), a nonprofit humanitarian organization established to support community-driven development programs worldwide through partnerships that design and implement sustainable engineering projects. EWB members, comprised of professional and student engineers or other disciplines, work with local communities and organizations in developing countries around the world on projects such as water, renewable energy, sanitation and more.
In November, I had the pleasure of attending a presentation of the Shisasari Water Project at the Sacramento Chapter of
EWB’s monthly meeting. In Shisasari, residents of the community collected their drinking water from a natural freshwater spring that was left unprotected from contamination due to human, animal and storm water runoff. Water-born diseases such as cholera, hepatitis and diarrhea were common. The EWB Project Team constructed a spring box to deliver fresh water, collected hydrology data and implemented community education programs for Shisasari. A second project, to deliver the water directly to a local middle school is currently under way.
The Sacramento Valley Professional Chapter of Engineers without Borders was founded in January of 2005. Their mission is to establish a community in Sacramento that looks to further the ideals of Engineers Without Boarders. If you would like to get involved, learn more about these projects or donate please visit their website, here.