Engineers Without Borders – Los Angeles Professional Chapter collaborates with community partners to design and build sustainable engineering projects.


Engineers Without Borders- Los Angeles Professional Chapter (EWB-LA) is developing an improvement project in Tanzania for the village of Lulindi’s existing tap water system. In 2015, EWB-LA went to Lulindi to build a French drain in order to provide an increased flow of water during the dry season into an already built catchment basin. This catchment basin is the main source of water for the village, and water is distributed to several taps that are installed throughout the village. Other bacteriological water quality tests presented obstacles because the village is in a remote area with no lab access and the terrain is steep, making it difficult to carry a lot of equipment for water quality testing.


EWB using CBTEWB-LA selected the CBT II Kit that uses 100 mL Thio Bags for sample collection and is extremely compact and lightweight. Working with their partner, Orphans and Social Development Organization (OSDO), EWB-LA collected water from the catchment basin and other sources (springs) around the village. Because the ambient temperature was below 25° Celsius, they placed CBT samples in a bag that absorbed the heat but did not let it escape in order to maintain samples between 25-44.5° C.  CBT samples were incubated for 48 hours, the recommended length of time to obtain test results in cooler ambient temperatures.


EWB-CSULB – Request for mentorship

We, the Project Team at EWB-CSULB, are requesting student chapter mentorship from your professional chapter. Even though we have already submitted our application to the Community Engineering Corps, we are still in need of additional technical leads and independent review panelists for our domestic project. In addition, we also need sponsorship leads to help carry our project to fulfillment.
If interested in professional mentorship, I have attached some information about the project itself as well as a brief description of the domestic project roles.
We would love to work with your chapter or some your engineers, but in the case that mentorship is not possible, a suggestion for potential leads would be gladly appreciated.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at any time. We also have a website that will provide additional information about our chapter and project:
Sohn Cook | Technical Writer
Engineers Without Borders—CSULB Chapter | College of Engineering

Rainwater Catchment System – Update

Rainwater Catchment System – Update

We have received word that the Ipalama rainwater catchment system in Tanzania is doing well. Our contact in the region visited it and took some pictures!

No real scientific metrics, but we are glad that the rainwater catchment system is in good shape. EWB-LA will be traveling to Tanzania in September, 2013 to assess how the project is doing. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures of the project and the Tanzanian leaders:




EWB-LA – Rebuilding of Homeless Women and Children Home

EWB-LA – Rebuilding of Homeless Women and Children Home

Members from our chapter took the time to help volunteer with the rebuilding of Colette’s Shelter on Saturday July 13th. Ricardo Tapia, Gustavo Buenrostro, Idalia Santos and Grace Yu helped with many of the tasks that day. They helped with tearing down an old fence to replaced by a new one, breaking concrete stabs to make way for a garden, digging a ditch for a new sprinkler system and applying stucco on the exterior of the house for new paint. Other activities included, painting metal railing, wheel-barreling out hundreds of pounds of dirt and concrete, and sanding the exterior of the house to lay way for the new paint.

This event was a great hands on experience for our members, many of who have never picked up a jack-hammer or mixed stucco. Experiences that definitely help with the hands-on building experience for projects abroad.

The volunteering event was organized by Boeing’s Corporate Citizenship for their month-long series of volunteering events for July. Collette’s Shelter is a home in Huntington Beach for homeless women with children and provides a temporary place to live while they can find employment. The event was three Saturday’s long and all the labor, tools and materials were provided by those that volunteered and Boeing.

EWB-LA- Rebuild a Shelter-14

5th Annual EWB – LA Fundraising Gala – Saturday – April 27th – 7pm

5th Annual EWB – LA Fundraising Gala – Saturday – April 27th – 7pm

Join us for the 5th Annual EWB-LA Fundraising Gala on Saturday, April 27th at 7pm at the Edward Cella Gallery!  There will be an open bar, silent auction, DJ and hor d’oeuvres. All proceeds will support the humanitarian and sustainable engineering projects of the all-volunteer EWB-LA!

Please spread the word to your friends, family and coworkers!
Tickets are on sale now at

Los Angeles companies Baghplanigsese .

Improving Water Supply in Ipalamwa

Improving Water Supply in Ipalamwa

In September 2011, EWB-LA members traveled to a remote village in Tanzania called Ipalamwa to construct a rainwater catchment system at a primary school in the village. This was EWB-LA’s second trip to the village; EWB-LA members first traveled to Ipalamwa in 2010 for a site assessment trip. During the assessment trip, we identified several potential projects in the village including energy infrastructure and road improvement projects, but the most pressing need in the village was water.

Ipalamwa, located in the southern highlands region in Tanzania, is situated in the midst of rolling hills. Although the views from the village were picturesque, the hills posed a problem when it came to water supply. A portion of the village, located at the bottom of a large hill, was served by a gravity tap system that was constructed by our partnering NGO, Orphans and Social Development Organization (OSDO), in 2007. Villagers at the top of the hill had no water system and they had to haul buckets of water up the hill from the bottom of steep ravines. Children attending the primary school also had to haul water up the hill daily, a time-consuming and dangerous chore, especially in the rainy season when the hills became slippery and muddy.

Four members of EWB-LA traveled to Ipalamwa to construct the rainwater catchment system—Jared Deck, Shah Selbe, James Mak and Kavita Mahulikar. They were joined by a former EWB-LA member and Tanzania native, Taha Jiwaji. With the help of the villagers, school children, and members of OSDO, they succeeded in constructing the rainwater catchment system in just ten days! The system consisted of gutters—to collect water from the roof of the school, an initial reservoir tank, a slow sand filter—to remove contaminants from the water, an overflow tank, and three storage tanks that stored up to 9,000 liters of water. We have since learned from our contact in OSDO that the system was successful in collecting water during the rainy season.

Although the rainwater catchment system is complete, our work in the village of Ipalamwa is far from over. We asked the Ipalamwa Village Council to help us identify our next project, and told us that they would like to improve the existing tap system that serves the lower portion of the village. On the 2010 site assessment trip, we noted that the tap system often did not work properly due to subpar design, and many taps went dry during hours of peak usage. EWB-LA is busy preparing for a second site assessment trip to the village to assess the tap system and monitor the rainwater catchment system to ensure that it is still functioning properly. Our next trip to Ipalamwa is scheduled for spring 2013. We are eager to return to the village and continue the work we started there back in 2010.

The Tanzania Project Team is always looking for more volunteers! If you are interested in getting involved, please contact the Tanzania Project Team Lead Kavita Mahulikar for more information at


Inspirational Engineers—Speaker Series

Inspirational Engineers—Speaker Series

Beginning in October, EWB-LA hosted a speaker series to highlight the work other people and NGOs have been involved in on an international and local scale.

  • Oct 17th—Chris Hill and Lawrence Ham—Chris is an EWB-LA member who spoke to us about his experiences at a village in Guatemala which has water access issues. EWB-LA is now looking at partnering with the village for a potential project. Lawrence is involved in several NGO and non profits around the world including Global Health Review(co-founder), Global Adolescent Project(co-founder), and First Ladies Initiative (Strategic Programs Initiative). He spoke to us about challenges faced in the field as well as the concepts and ideas behind his projects.
  • Nov 14th—Cindy Montanez—Cindy Montanez is an Assistant General Manager at LA-DWP. We talked with Cindy about different challenges our organization faces and she gave us good ideas about how our chapter can get involved on a local level.
  • Dec 12th—Lucia Hill—Lucia Hill is a Guatemala native and the founder of Mujeres Iniciando en las Américas (MIA) focused on ending femicide in Guatemala through gender education and cultural change. She spoke to us about her experiences growing up in Guatemala during its civil war and how she was inspired to start MIA. For more information about Lucia’s NGO and how you can get involved, visit
  • Jan 9th—Matt Vecere—Matt Vecere is the co-founder of Global Adolescent Project and Emprofit. He spoke with us about the current situation in Haiti 3 years after the earthquake and the current cholera outbreak there. He also spoke to us about the experiences he had working there and the challenges facing Haiti for the future. For more information about Matt’s NGO you can visit


Far Bar + Engineers Without Borders = Good Times!

Far Bar + Engineers Without Borders = Good Times!

What better way to celebrate the holidays than bringing people together for food, drinks, and fun at the Los Angeles Professional’s Branch of Engineers Without Borders’ (EWB) first fundraiser social; sponsored by Far Bar, in Little Tokyo, Downtown LA. On Thursday, December 6, 2012, we had an overwhelmingly successful turnout with more than 100 attendees who enjoyed a variety of appetizers, drinks, and raffles to help us raise a total of $293.

Through the generous donations by our attendees and most importantly by Far Bar for not only their donation but for also providing us with the perfect venue for our event, we are extremely thankful to everyone who participated. It was a great first-time event for us and we hope to host many more future fundraiser socials. These fundraiser events help raise badly needed funds for our ongoing projects in the village of Ipalmawa, Tanzania, and also helps us spread the word about who EWB is and what we do. So as the saying goes, eat, drink, and be merry!