WASHINGTON (October 20, 2008) – Howard University Chapter of Engineers without Borders (EWB-HU) spearheaded a World Water Monitoring Day initiative along with their counterparts at neighboring universities at the McMillan Reservoir on Sunday, Oct. 12.
The project, World Water Monitoring Day is observed annually. It commemorates the anniversary of the U.S. clean water act, enacted in 1972, by the U.S. Congress to restore and protect the country’s water resources. Part of a worldwide effort, it encourages citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies.
“World Water Monitoring Day was a great opportunity to learn about our drinking water and test its quality,” said Alexandria McBride, president of EWB – Howard Chapter. “It also served as a reminder about something we take for granted: potable water.”
According to the United Nations more than 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water. EWB-USA implements projects to increase access to safe drinking water in developing communities around the world.
Howard University students, joined by other students from George Washington and Catholic Universities studied water quality using simple test kits. The effort involved testing some parameters including temperature, acidity (PH), clarity (turbidity), and dissolved oxygen (DO). The results were uploaded to the World Water Monitoring Day website along with test results of other participating countries.
This past spring the EWB-HU skipped traditional spring break destinations and headed to Cocle, Panama, where they helped to renovate an orphanage for young girls — Hogar de Niñas de Penonomè — badly in need of repairs. After this successful mission and numerous donations, the orphanage is beautifully renovated to accommodate additional girls, has additional computer equipment, and a thriving vegetable garden.
The Howard Chapter of EWB plans to visit Brazil in December and Kenya during spring break 2009 to participate in further development projects.
EWB-HU is an interdisciplinary humanitarian organization established to partner with developing communities to improve their quality of life via construction of sustainable systems, empowering communities by enhancing local, technical, managerial, and entrepreneurial skills.