Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

Engineers Without Borders: Water Works

The Dartmouth chapter of the international service organization Engineers Without Borders (EWB) is working with counterparts in Louisiana State University and Kenya to bring clean water to the Kenyan community of Nyamilu. The project is a response to villagers’ requests for a sustainable, reliable source of safe water.

Left to right, Katie Muse ’05, Audi Okullo, and Hannah Murnen ’06. Photograph by Douglas Fraser.
Left to right, Katie Muse ’05, Audi Okullo, and Hannah Murnen ’06. Photograph by Douglas Fraser.

According to Dartmouth EWB co-chairs Katie Muse ’05 and Hannah Murnen ’06, the three chapters are handling different parts of the $20,000 project. The Kenyans surveyed the area, LSU is focusing on pipes and reservoirs, and Dartmouth is designing a solar-powered pump with advice from Professor Dan Lynch and professional engineer Brian Klett ’89. Five or six of the 15 Thayer School students working on the project expect to travel to Kenya this summer to implement the system.

EWB participants anticipate that the clean water project will have several social ripples, including reducing water-borne disease. Irrigation water will increase crop yields and open opportunities for raising livestock, creating new sources of employment and income.

The project is giving students experience in the human side of engineering. “It’s important that the need arises from the community, rather than imposing your ideas. You have to be aware of the culture and environment,” says Muse.

M.E.M. candidate Audi Okullo is giving fellow EWB members an invaluable view of life in Nyamilu. The village happens to be her home.

For more photos, visit our Humanitarian Engineering collection on Flickr.

Categories: The Great Hall, Engineers Without Borders

Tags: environment, humanitarian service, leadership, projects, students

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