The Engineers Without Borders-Howard University team spent Friday night refining sketches and finalizing the materials list for the biosand and first flush filters. James, our host, told us to plan for a minimum of four hours for shopping and an hour to travel each way. It seemed like a lot of time, but not so. We traveled about 53 kilometers to Eldoret, the closest major town, to get supplies for the filters.

We visited Eagle Hardware… Unlike Lowes or Home Depot where you browse the aisles, at Eagle the orders for goods are placed over the counter. The staff retrieves the items and brings them to the customer. Faculty advisor John Tharakan, Ph.D. and Brian Stephenson, PE, the team’s professional mentor, provided students with hands-on engineering lessons as they worked to secure the appropriate materials. We are thankful to Eagle Hardware director Rupen Patel and his team for their patience and assistance.

Photographs by Kerry-Ann Hamilton

Here are some of the items the team purchased:

Hose bib
Air release pipe
First flush tank
PVC outlet pipe
Diffuser plates
Elbows (90 degree)
Plastic biosand filters

The team has become pros at securing items to the top of our matatu (minivan) with rope. The pipes and supplies made it back to Choimim safely. Let the building begin!