The University of Cincinnati
College of Engineering and Applied Science
student chapter of
Engineers Without Borders (EWB UC)
was a clear favorite among voters in the
Penetron Internationals Fall 2017 EWB-USA Grant Award Contest
, winning by a margin of more than 400 votes. The contests other two finalists were chapters from the University of Wisconsin Madison and the Oregon Institute of Technology.
EWB UC will receive a $5,000 grant towards its project. The group has been traveling to Burere, Tanzania, working to provide a solar-powered pump system that will draw clean drinking water from a well for a community of approximately 6,000 people.
Burere is in dire need of clean drinking water. The town currently relies on Lake Victoria as its main source of water due to its reliability throughout the rainy and dry seasons. However, disease-causing viruses such as Schistosomiasis are found in the lake and are very prevalent in Burere. Although the community has an existing well, which is the only clean source of water in Burere, much of the population can't use it because of its remote location. The well's pump is also hand-powered, which is time-consuming and leads to long wait times to draw water during the dry season. By implementing a pump and tank system to the well and increasing accessibility, EWB UC can assist the community in promoting safe drinking and water-collection habits. Reducing the incidence of disease is expected to result in a healthier overall community and will increase both productivity and the quality of life for its residents.