EWB: Engineers Without Borders, NU Student Chapter
EWB-USA NEU aids communities in developing countries by using engineering solutions to address basic human needs, such as the need for potable water – all the while supplying our student members with educational, transformative experiences.
Since our establishment in 2004, EWB-USA NEU has designed and constructed water projects in eight communities in Honduras, Uganda, and Panama, affecting over 2,000 individuals. Students are continually drawn to EWB-USA NEU with the goal of helping societies in need, while gaining firsthand experience in all phases of the engineering design process. We are a dually focused organization: aiding communities in the developing world by implementing sustainable engineering solutions, while striving to give students a global experience and skills beyond the classroom. EWB’s current projects are located in Guatemala, Uganda, and Panama.
In 2009, EWB-USA NEU began their Uganda program in the village of Bbanda. Over the next 10 years, the chapter would go on to install four rainwater catchment systems at schools, drill two boreholes, and construct a water distribution system that services over 1,200 community members. The Bbanda Distribution System uses groundwater from a drilled borehole to fill a 50,000 liter storage tank and delivers water to 11 tap stands throughout the community via a gravity-powered pipe network. In 2018, EWB-USA NEU officially completed the project. After completing this project, students took a first assessment trip to another community in Uganda called Nakyenyi. The goal of this project is to design and construct a similar gravity-fed distribution system to a community of about 3,000. The team has drilled a source borehole and hopes to complete a system by 2022.
In 2015 EWB-USA NEU took on a project in the community of Las Delicias, Panama. The goal of the project was to increase the access and quality of water, and since then the team has designed and constructed a gravity-fed distribution system which services about 250 community members. The system features tap stands at each home in the community and pressure-break tanks to maintain longevity of the system. The team completed construction of this system in 2020 and is assessing another community called La Pedrogosa to complete a similar water project.
While our Uganda and Panama projects are still focused on the need for clean water, our Guatemala team is designing and constructing a school building and latrines for 50 school aged children. Students took their first assessment trip to the community to collect soil samples, elevation data, and get community input in January 2019, and are working to have a completed school building in the community by 2021.