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TZ Project - School Group Shot 16x9

Overview

Engineers Without Borders – Los Angeles Professional Chapter (EWB-LA) collaborates with community partners to design and build sustainable engineering projects. Our projects are implemented through a community-driven model based on full partnership with host communities. EWB-USA chapters make a minimum five-year commitment to work with the community, including continual monitoring and an evaluation at least one year after completing the project.

Engineers Without Borders – Los Angeles Professional Chapter is currently involved in Tanzania.

Project background

The Los Angeles Professional Chapter of EWB-USA is proud to develop an improvement project for the village of Lulindi’s existing tap water system built by our partnering non government organization in 2007, Orphans and Social Development Organization. This will be the chapter’s second project in the community and will utilize the surrounding natural water resources.

The main goal is to alleviate the village of Lulindi’s water shortage during the dry season between May and September by improving its existing tap water system. Improving the entire tap water system is broken down by phases with the first phase being building a French drain.

The second phase is reinforcing the main catchment basin located on a hillside to improve its ability to receive and contain water from the nearby aquifer. The third phase is to repair and replace the system of pipes and taps where there is damage and leakage.  Rather than creating a brand new water source system, EWB Los Angeles is listening to the villagers’ desires to improve the existing water system because it is heavily used by the village and it is centrally located.

The village of Lulindi relies heavily on the tap water system as it is the nearest source of water situated along the main road. Other sources of water are natural springs and the river Kesinge which are all further downhill. After completing the rain water catchment system in the neighboring hillside village of Ipalamwa, which was EWB Los Angeles’ first project, the village water council has expressed great interest in helping them improve the tap system for the reasons mentioned. Our partnering NGO, Orphans and Social Development Organization (OSDO), have a direct tie with the village of Lulindi because the founder of OSDO is a native of the village and has family there. OSDO has agreed to provide any transportation, access to materials, communication with the villagers and a translator via the signed and stamped Memorandum of Understanding. In 2007, OSDO had installed a water distribution system—a gravity tap system—that services a part of Lulindi. Lulindi is located at the bottom of a large hill and Ipalamwa is situated at the top of said hill.

A project in the village of Ipalamwa was proposed by two members TZ Project - DSC0424
of EWB-LA who were introduced to this community through an organization called Global Volunteers. In July 2010, three members of EWB-LA traveled to Ipalamwa to conduct an initial site assessment trip. A relationship was built with the village members and OSDO, data was collected to determine a feasible first project regarding water quality, availability of water, water infrastructure, conditions of roadways and buildings, and energy infrastructure.  Interviews were also conducted with key members of the community including school administrators, village leaders, and health personnel.  An assessment of the tap system was also done and it was discovered that many of the taps were broken or leaky, and several ran out of water during peak hours. Villagers living at the top of the hill did not have access to this water system and hiked down a ravine to collect stream water for drinking and cooking, including children at the primary school and Lutheran secondary school. This led to EWB-LA’s first project in 2011—the Rainwater Catchment System Project—which serves the part of the village at the top of the hill, Ipalamwa.

How to Get Involved

The Tanzania Project Team is always looking for more volunteers! If you are interested in getting involved, please contact the Tanzania Project Team Lead Gustavo Buenrostro for more information at secretary@ewb-la.org.