Recognised as “Project of the Month” by Engineers Without Borders USA, a nonprofit humanitarian organisation, a team of students from Northeastern University‘ chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB-NEU) travelled to the village of El Chaguite, Honduras, to assess the community’s water system and design a new, fully functional system for the rapidly expanding community. The students evaluated the current water system and identified the most effective ways for the residents to obtain their daily water needs.
EWB-NEU is anticipating completing the water system project in three visits to El Chaguite. During its first visit to Honduras in April, EWB-NEU team members surveyed the water quality, conducted health assessments, collected data, and calculated measurements to design an effective water system. “It was an amazing trip,” said Jen Chin, secretary of EWB-NEU and a junior mechanical engineering major. “It is indescribable what it was like to see that what we do really can matter. The trip really put things into perspective for me, and now I understand how lucky we have it here.”
Back at Northeastern, the team formulated a plan to improve the community’s quality of life. EWB-NEU will construct a water system that features a 6,500-gallon water storage tank, a new distribution network, and a water tap at each of the 60 houses, two churches and one school in the village. In addition to pre-assessing the new project, the students, along with their professional mentor and Northeastern alumnus, Dan Saulnier, visited Los Planes, Honduras, to look at the progress of another village with a new water system completed by EWB-NEU earlier this year.
The national Engineers Without Borders organization officially sanctioned Northeastern’s chapter in March 2005. With ongoing partnerships with other two non-profit organisations, Americans Caring Teaching, and Sharing and Sustainable Harvest International, the organization hopes to continue its efforts in Honduras as well as expand into other countries like Uganda.