Members of the Howard Chapter of Engineers Without Borders map out implementation trip to Choimim, Kenya. Photography by Kerry-Ann Hamilton

WASHINGTON – For most people in the United States clean running water is basic, but for a small village in rural Kenya, this necessity is anything but basic. Guided by the principle that “Water is Life,” the Howard Chapter of Engineers Without Borders will return to Kenya next week to implement a series of water enhancement projects.

Their mission is to establish rainwater harvesting and biosand treatment systems for villages in Nandi Hills, a tea farming community approximately 200 miles from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. EWB-HU is partnering with Running Water International and Build the Village, two local NGOs. This project falls under the national EWB mission to support community-driven development programs worldwide by collaborating with local partners to design and implement sustainable engineering projects, while creating transformative experiences and responsible leaders.

The multi-year effort is driven by powerful group of young Howard engineers led by EWB-HU President Bianca Bailey and team lead Aleah Holt.

“For our EWB-HU students, this trip brings together the commitment, dedication and perseverance that the evolving team of students and advisors have shown over the past three years,”said said EWB-HU advisor John Tharakan, Ph.D., professor of Chemical Engineering. “ I cannot help but feel proud of these students, who will be demonstrating through their hard work, Howard University’s commitment to global service. We are looking forward to a successful and rewarding visit.”

The 9-member delegation will return, May 15-27, to implement their solution, installing biosand filters throughout the community. These filters will allow the community access to clean water. EWB-HU will also introduce first flush systems on water tanks used for rainwater harvesting. In addition to the value of these new filtration systems, students will train community engineers.