A five-year venture that will give clean water to Nicaragua
BY Anthony Viola
Everyone can agree that water is essential. The United States is built on a society where much of its population does not have to worry about having water. Unfortunately, this access is often taken for granted, as there are many places in the world that still need a sufficient water source. Engineers Without Borders (EWB) is one of many humanitarian groups that take their education to the next level, providing the world with such necessities.
In January, City College’s chapter of EWB was approved to begin a mission that would provide over 300 Nicaraguans with clean, consumable water. They have been working for months to see their efforts become tangible and plan on visiting the more rural regions of Tadazna this upcoming summer. A specific date for the trip hasn’t yet been decided.
EWB-CCNY strives to provide needed infrastructure such as water treatment systems and footbridges. By working with their partners in New York and on-site in the region, EWB-CCNY will provide 46% of the population of Tadazna, Nicaragua with a sustainable hydra-system that will allow them access to drinking water for years to come.
Ashita Patel, an EWB-CCNY member who helped bring this project to life, believes that this mission will lay the groundwork for future engineers. “Working on this project provides the foundation for the chapter to involve new members and work alongside professionals to design the wells,” states Patel.
This venture will take place over the next five years. The goals are to survey the viability of installing water wells into the region and if they come across no substantial difficulties, they will move forward in designing and implementing these wells. This planned expedition will give a team of six (including one mentor) the essential information needed to begin designing the water wells. Another assessment trip is expected to follow, and EWB-CCNY will maintain a five year relationship with this community.
According to Jillian Panagakos, the project secretary for EWB-CCNY, one of the most important objectives is gaining a trusting relationship with those who will be using their completed work. “While we are there, we will be staying in the home of the community leader, sharing meals with the families, playing with the children, and generally fully immersing ourselves in their world,” she states. “This is an opportunity that you just can’t find anywhere else.”