This will be the first project for the newly formed Engineers Without Borders New Hampshire USA Professionals Chapter. The non-profit humanitarian organization partners with communities to design and build sustainable engineering projects involving water supply, water treatment, construction, sanitation, energy, agriculture and other needs.
In November 2015, the local engineers applied to work on the project, and recently they received word from the national nonprofit that it was accepted, said chapter president Heidi Lemieux, an engineer with Sanborn, Head & Associates Inc. in Concord.
Chapter members will meet in February to begin preparations for a pre-assessment trip, which they hope to make in early 2017, she said. In the meantime, they’ll be working on fundraising to pay for the journey and communicating with the community in Uganda. The New Hampshire chapter will be working with a volunteer group in Gwase, Uganda, to coordinate the project.
“They’re called the Busoga Volunteers for Community Development,” she said. “This organization works with the community and with us as a liaison so that we can be in direct communication with the community and have a better idea of what their goals and what their expectations are so we can work together and come up with the best solution for the community.”
“Whatever kind of solution we design we want it to be pretty simple and straightforward,” she said. “The community would be able to maintain it and get supplies for it so if something were to break it’s not just a failed system. There’s an education portion that goes with it, too, so that they can learn how it runs and how it works.”
As the application notes, better access to clean water would have far-reaching implications on the village: “It will help to improve on the education levels of the children since they will be going to school other than looking for safe water as (it is) now.”