Fueling Young Minds in Kenya

By Aneek James | Engineers Without Borders USA | University of Georgia Chapter

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With the average Kenyan student restricted to an 8th grade education, each day, hour, minute, that Emulanda Primary School students spend in the classroom is incredibly valuable. Given classroom instruction time is at a premium, it’s hard to imagine losing another quarter of each school day in the time it takes to gather firewood needed to cook student meals. These students in rural Kenya are living the challenges spelled out in the image above.

ewb-kenya-picTime spent in the classroom is not the only resource dwindling. With firewood being the main source of energy in Kenya, land once covered in forests has been reduced to less than 1.7% total land area. This destruction increases pressure on a population grappling with hunger, water shortage, and power shortage.

WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT THIS?

The University of Georgia student chapter of Engineers Without Borders has partnered with community leaders in Kakamega County, Kenya and will lead an assessment trip in December 2016 to gather specifications necessary to develop a biogas latrine. This alternative, sustainable fuel source will help combat the soil erosion and pollution of underground water currently plaguing the community. The biogas latrine system will also preserve valuable education time by eliminating the need of gathering firewood for cooking fuel.

The cost to cover the upcoming assessment trip is $12,500. With the generosity of alumni, parents, and friends of Engineers Without Borders and the University of Georgia College of Engineering, this project will be made a reality.

ABOUT | ENGINEERS WITHOUT BORDERS        

Engineers Without Borders USA was founded in 2002 as a nonprofit organization with the mission of to support community-driven development programs by collaborating with local partners to implement sustainable engineering projects and facilitate the environment for responsible leaders. The organization targets communities lacking in basic needs such as clean drinking water and adequate sanitation, with the hope of providing those services to the more than 2 billion people currently without. Thus far, the organization as a whole has impacted more than 2.5 million lives. Projects are designed so that they can not only be used and maintained by the community, but also be independently built in surrounding areas with similar problems because of the emphasis EWB puts on educating the community, thus creating a chain effect.

EWB-USA UGA was established in 2008 and has since provided its members with the opportunity to gain real world engineering experience while also fostering a heart for philanthropic service and community involvement.

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GivingQuestions

Christy Dasher| College of Engineering

cdasher@uga.edu | 706.542.0874

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