Tanzanian village gets clean water, electricity thanks to college students
Engineers Without Borders chapter installs a rainwater harvesting system for a school and a solar generator for a hospital.
Itai Perry was hiking in northern Tanzania when he came across the village of Minjingu. He saw the town's contaminated water and decided there was something he needed to do about it.
So he returned to the town with help from his alma mater, Tel Aviv University. With students and teachers in tow, they returned to the African nation. To combat the exceptionally high fluoride levels in the village's water, Perry and his crew constructed a rainwater harvesting and filtration system. The new technology allowed the hundreds of students at the Nkaiti Secondary School to drink and cook with clean, safe water.
When that was complete, they turned to the local medical center, which tends to the village's 3,000 residents. Life-saving medical equipment, as well as vaccines that need to be refrigerated, require electricity – but the building was not connected to the national grid. So the Israeli students installed a solar electricity generator to provide a constant and consistent source of power.
“We tried to make sure our solution would suit the community's needs, to raise its chances of being properly maintained. Their answers were decisive, mentioning the need for life supporting infrastructure spreading the supply of drinking water, bringing electricity to remote rural populations and ensuring food security for the community,” Mayan Raviv, the project leader, told From The Grapevine.
Perry's team is part of the Tel Aviv University chapter of Engineers Without Borders. In addition to working in Tanzania, the Israeli humanitarian group is working to improve the quality of life in developing countries around the world through environmentally and economically sustainable engineering projects. The organization is part of Engineers Without Borders International, which has outposts in the U.S., Belgium, India and in other locales around the world.
The Tel Aviv chapter is not the only Israeli branch of Engineers Without Borders. Students at the Technion Institute in the Mediterranean coastal city of Haifa have built biogas reactors in Nepal and helped with clean water initiatives in Ethiopia. They recently teamed up with students at the University of Colorado to help work on a variety of projects, which you can learn about in the video below:
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