Engineers without borders, Tanzania

Tanzania Addtruly

Clean water that saves lives 

Poverty, lack of knowledge, along with poorly developed infrastructure for access to clean water, causes 3.5 million deaths every year due to diseases caused by dirty drinking water. 2.2 million of people who die, are children.

Therefore, in 2015, the UN set 17 global development goals – access to clean water and sanitation being one of them.  The NGO Engineers without borders (EWB) has decided to implement its knowledge in engineering to help achieve this UN goal.

As part of a larger project, “Zero Dropout” operated by the local partner Mavuno Project, EWB’s goal is to improve access to clean drinking water at the upper secondary school RUICHO in the Karagwe region of Tanzania. The aim is also to develop educational materials that raise awareness among teachers and children about the importance of clean and safe drinking water.

EWB will install solar panel driven water treatment systems at existing water tanks at the school. Today, the water tanks at the school collect water without cleaning it. In order for the students and teachers to drink the water, without the risk of getting sick, the kitchen staff must boil the water first. This is a time consuming and health hazardous process. The water is boiled over open fire which causes harmful smoke that the kitchen staff breathe in. In the end, not all water is purified. As a result, both students and teachers become sick of drinking the dirty water.

To ensure that the purification system is used long term, a group of engineering students at the University of Linköping develop systems in sustainable materials that are easily accessible locally in the region. 2 students will travel to Tanzania in 2018 with the goal to install the purification systems on site and train school staff in how these systems are maintained so that school staff can easily fix or replace parts that may break.

Within the project, education material is developed in English and Swahili. Teachers will be able to use this material to teach students the importance of clean water, hygiene and health. All in order to ensure long-term access to clean drinking water for students, teachers and school staff.

A similar project is run by EWB in northern Ghana.