Engineers Without Borders
About Our Organization
Established in 2002, Engineers Without Borders (EWB) is an international non-profit humanitarian organization that works to provide basic necessities to communities in need. Lehigh University's student chapter, founded in 2007, focuses on providing Central American communities with access to potable water.
Our chapter has successfully completed the implementation of a water tank and piping system to distribute a dependable supply of water to the community of Cebadilla, Nicaragua. This upcoming year we will continue to monitor and assess the efficiency and capability of the water distribution system. In addition, we will be looking into other engineering projects to begin within Cebadilla or in surrounding communities.
Water Implementation System in Cebadilla
Nicaragua has experienced its worst drought since 1973 over the past few years. Effects of this drought have been magnified in rural, underdeveloped communities like Cebadilla. When Lehigh’s chapter first started working in Cebadilla, there were only two hand-dug wells that had dried up due to the continued late onset of the rainy season year after year. As a result, the mayor’s office of San Juan del Sur had been delivering water to the well-site as often as a few times per week; however, sometimes deliveries were late and simply unreliable. The mayor’s office also drilled a deep well; however, it was not attached to any mechanism that would allow community members easy access to water as the well was far away from all points of consumption. In light of the situation, Lehigh’s chapter helped the community to implement a water distribution system that allows the 250 community members to have year-round access to potable water.
This is a very exciting time for Lehigh EWB since our water distribution system in Nicaragua is complete. While our chapter will continue to maintain connections with Cebadilla to monitor the newly implemented water system; we will also focus our efforts on exploring new opportunities for a future project.
Should we continue projects in Cebadilla, in the San Juan del Sur area of Nicaragua or in other parts of the country? Should we focus on greywater management in Cebadilla, harnessing solar power in La Libertad, or road flooding in Ojo de Agua? No matter the place or the problem, our chapter will be busy researching, traveling, and engineering a solution for communities in need.
If you would like to share any input regarding the questions above, please contact the EWB Fundraising Chair (see Additional Information).
From PVC piping to water storage tanks, funding will be used to purchase all the materials necessary for the maintenance of the distribution system and the starting up of a new project. In addition, funding will also help cover some travel costs that will allow an invaluable experiential learning experience for current Lehigh engineering students.
While Lehigh University’s chapter of EWB has made great strides in the field of water distribution systems, we are dependent on outside sources of funding. The ultimate goal of our projects is not just to provide engineering solutions, but to improve the quality of life in the communities we serve. In achieving this, we also provide students a hands-on application of their engineering and sustainability education. Unfortunately, this goal comes with a price tag. As such, donations of all sizes are welcomed and appreciated. Any amount of funding helps the chapter to expand its reach and have a greater positive impact on those less fortunate.
For more information on EWB-USA, visit http://www.ewb-usa.org/
To learn more about Lehigh University's student chapter of EWB, https://ewb.web.lehigh.edu/
Any additional questions can be addressed to Lehigh EWB's fundraising chair: Rachel Buonasora, at firstname.lastname@example.org