Engineering students help Honduras village access clean water
Dec 8, 2008
Andrew Jones, left, a sophomore in mechanical engineering, and Peace Corps worker Erik Kalweit surveyed land around Los Sanchez, Honduras, as they prepared the site for a water distribution project.
The University of Toledo student chapter of Engineers Without Borders has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Toledo Rotary Foundation for support of a water supply project in Los Sanchez, Honduras.
They will receive the check during a presentation Monday, Dec. 8, at 11:45 a.m. at The Park Inn, 101 N. Summit St.
Los Sanchez is a village of about 180 people located in the department of Choluteca. None of the residences have basic infrastructure, such as electric power, potable water or latrines. Water for drinking and cleaning requires several trips a day, normally by the women and children, to transport water from a river about half a mile from the village over very rough terrain.
The residents have saved their meager earnings, equal to about $3 per day, in order to purchase land in hopes that a system could be constructed to convey water some 2000 meters from a spring to the village.
Santos Sanchez, a community leader in the village, checked out a nearby fresh water spring.
With the help of the Rotary, UT students have raised about half of the $25,000 needed for the trip and are asking for donations to help raise the remainder by the end of 2008.
“We are so proud of our students’ service-learning efforts in our community and in our global community,” said Dr. Nagi Naganathan, dean of the UT College of Engineering, calling the work a primary mission of the University and the college. “The Toledo Rotary Foundation’s generosity is an endorsement of our shared vision of service as their gift will help our students become better engineers and better people as they work to bring clean drinking and bathing water to the village of Los Sanchez, Honduras.”
Four students and a technical mentor conducted an assessment trip in May to Los Sanchez, where they compiled basic information needed for designing the system and assessed the overall health needs of the community. They plan to purchase materials and supplies and to begin construction of the waterline in January. The students will return in March to construct the water supply tank and complete the waterline.
The UT student chapter of Engineers Without Borders was organized in 2007 to enable students to participate in these experiences. Visit www.eng.utoledo.edu/~ewob for more information.
Those who would like to donate should contact Deborah Perry, principal gifts officer for the College of Engineering, at 419.530.6175 or at email@example.com.