University of California, Santa Barbara

Engineers Without Borders - UCSB Chapter Receives Two Awards

Engineers Without Borders at UCSB continues to be recognized as one of the outstanding chapters in the United States. Seven of our students went to the EWB-USA International Conference in Seattle over spring break, and while there received two awards!

The first award was for "Outstanding Educational Work in Araypallpa, Peru" and was accompanied with a $1,000 award.

The Chapter also won 1st Place in the poster competition for a poster describing the Peru Project's work in Araypallpa over the last five years.

Congratulations to our UCSB chapter of Engineers Without Borders!

EWB-UCSB Chapter Summary of Water and Solar Energy Projects

Araypallpa, Peru

The EWB-USA Response

EWB-UCSB members first traveled to Araypallpa, Peru in July 2004 to assess the community’s water and sanitation needs and install a solar-powered lighting system at the local school. With EWB-UCSB’s assistance, the community hoped to implement water and solar energy projects to gain access to safe drinking water and adequate educational opportunities.

During Summer 2005, the Peru team installed a pilot slow sand filter and trained community members to maintain and monitor the system. Water demand and health surveys were conducted as well.

In Summer 2006, EWB-UCSB helped to establish a community library to facilitate access to more educational resources in agriculture as requested by the community. They also continued monitoring the filtration system, initiated a grey water recycling pilot project, and did a water usage survey.

In Summer 2007, EWB-UCSB completed the evaluation of the pilot slow sand filter and constructed the full-scale system for one of the two community’s water sources. The team also installed two improved chlorination devices that provide more control of chlorine levels for both water sources. In response to the community’s request for more irrigation water, the team implemented a pilot grey water recycling system at the community garden. The team continued to build the community capacity by providing additional training and conducting a series of educational workshop to the entire village on sanitation and hygiene. 

Following Up

During fall 2007 through spring 2008 the community water and filter committees will follow a monitoring plan to assure the proper functioning of the summer 07 installations before completing the installation for the second source in 2008; the results will also provide a basis for the nurse and the community to begin sharing the new technologies with nearby communities. The community water committee was further trained to conduct the water testing follow-up and system maintenance. 

Moving Forward

In 2008 the team will travel to the community for the fifth time in order to complete the project and work with the Araypallpiños to install an additional two filters at the second water source. Follow-up will be done on all construction, maintenance, and technical training from previous years to assure that Araypallpa can sustain the slow sand filters and chlorination devices in EWB-UCSB’s absence. EWB-UCSB will also be visiting the nearby village of Sankka for a preassessment trip. The village of Sankka has complained of high frequency of diarrhea and respiratory illness similar to the original complaints of Araypallpa in 2004. EWB-UCSB will work with Sankka to examine their request for a health outpost. In addition, they will assess the town for possible preventative measures including water quality and sanitation and hygiene practices. Given the proximity of the two villages, it may be that similar technologies and education may work in Sankka. The Araypallpiños will be trained to serve as mentors to this nearby village so that best-practice information can be passed along.

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