Local engineering firms, along with representatives from Caltrans, the Department of Water Resources, Placer County Water Agency and Indian Health Service have recently made a difference in the lives of hundreds in the East Kanyamamba community in the Migori District of the Nyanza Province of Kenya. The team recently completed fresh water projects for the local people that reside there. The East Kanyamaba community has been historically affected by a lack of clean water, decreasing staple crop yields during periodic drought, and very limited healthcare access.
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. This chapter in particular, is comprised of professional engineers from different backgrounds of public agencies and private consulting firms. The goal of Engineers Without Borders is to work with the local communities and organizations in developing countries around the world on projects such as water, renewable energy, sanitation and many others.
A few nights ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Sacramento Professional Chapter of Engineers Without Borders’ 2nd Annual Fundraiser and Silent Auction where I listened to a presentation about a recently finished and successful project in Kenya. This event was sponsored by a few ACEC California members such as Kimley-Horn, GEI Consultants, and West Yost Associates.
The East Kanyamamba Project or the “KEK Project” as it is commonly known, was first started with an assessment trip with a plan set in motion for improving the communities’ access to clean water through the protection of wells and the construction of spring boxes.
Before the project team came to the community, residents would collect their drinking water from natural springs or nearby creeks that were left unprotected from contamination due to humans, animal waste and storm runoff. Residents who drank this water were suffering from water-born diseases, i.e. cholera, hepatitis and diarrhea. In September 2015 the project was completed. The KEK team had built, along with the help of the local community –
- Two ferrocement tanks (one held 2,200 gallons of water and the other held 1,700 gallons of water)
- Four faucets at each location and related piping
- Overflow troughs for animals and clothes washing
- Three spring boxes at the sites of prominent natural springs
ACEC California is proud of their members’ involvement in non-profit work, both locally and internationally.
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 Borders. If you would like to get involved, learn more about these projects or donate please visit their website, here.