The Colonia Esmeralda Project, completed in the summer of 2007, gave the community of Colonia Esmeralda long-term clean drinking water for its nearly 300 residents and erosion control of the community’s only access road. Colonia Esmeralda, located on the southeast edge of San Salvador, is a community that emerged as a result of the Salvadoran Civil War when rural residents fled the countryside to seek the safety of the city. In 2007, EWB-Central Houston helped the community develop the public works infrastructures that they needed.
The village of Weledi is 330 km from the capital city of Addis Ababa. It has a population of 200 families with another 5,000 people living in 18 villages within a 20 km radius. Weledi serves as the major hub for this area as it is located on a paved roadway, has schools and also has a pharmacy.
The mission of the EWB Program is to help break the cycle of poverty by empowering those in the community and surrounding areas by providing opportunities to better their lives and the lives of their children. The focus of this program is to improve the health and educational opportunities for these people and make a better life for the children.
The primary needs of the community are access to fresh water, sanitation systems, repair to the school buildings, construction of walkways, upgrades to the electrical infrastructure and formation of landfills/compost systems to service the community.
The Spirit Lake tribe of Benson Country, ND has been experiencing 20 years of rising water from Devil’s Lake which has caused flooding and consequent environmental and economic impacts. In April 2013 the Spirit Lake Tribe was officially declared as a disaster area and the community is currently working with FEMA to implement the Tribe’s emergency plan. The Tokio Pantry, which has previously served as a community and food distribution center to the entire Spirit Lake Nation (4,300 enrolled members living on the reservation) has been shut down and demolished due to mold issues as a result of flooding and an insufficient septic system. New housing has been proposed in the surrounding rural area and the pantry plays a key role in resotring the community, therefore it is a Tribal priority to replace it.
Central Houston Professional Chapter has been selected to provide engineering for the construction of a new metal structure to be build south of the existing metal structure. This which will be used as a community center as well as for adequate food services in a safe and healthy environment. The Spirit Lake Tribe owns the land where the proposed structure is located and a Work Plan and Engineering Service Agreement will be rendered for the design and construction of this new addition.
The Cobol Water Project will provide a clean and reliable source of water to a group of three communities located in the hills surrounding the city of Cochabamba in Bolivia. The project’s design consists of a water storage system and a water distribution infrastructure designed to give hundreds of families a long-term supply of clean drinking water.
In addition, a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) is being designed for Villa Oropeza. The construction of this WWTP depends on the completion of the sewage system that was supposed to be built by the government. EWB is in the process trying to acquire funds to purchase land for this WWTP and lower the estimated cost, as well as working with the government.
The Maseno Hospital Water and Power Project is located in Western Kenya and involves providing a long-term supply of clean water and reliable energy to a small hospital. The hospital’s current source of water is an often muddy supply of municipal water, which is irregularly provided. The hospital sometimes goes months without water. Their only current alternative is a rainwater catchment system; however, rainwater runoff is usually unclean and short-lived during the dry season. The hospital experiences power-rationing periods two days a week and many unscheduled power outages, making it difficult to perform surgeries and carry out their mission.
Our team went to Kenya in early 2012 for the implementation. A new electrical project is currently under-way within our Kenya program, and we are seeking more volunteers to join this team.
We realize the importance of investing in our local community. For that reason, we are in the process of putting together a team for design of a rainwater harvesting system right here in Houston, TX.
The Bernadino Diaz Ochoa Project was a collaboration with the EWB-Rice Student Chapter. After three trips to Nicaragua over the course of 2 years, the EWB-Rice project team had the knowledge and expertise to design a straw-bale health clinic for the rural community of Bernadino Diaz Ochoa in San Juan del Sur. The clinic also needed a reliable source of power and water. Members of EWB-Central Houston traveled to Nicaragua in May of 2007 to implement a solar power system and a rainwater catchment system for the clinic. The clinic now benefits the many residents of the surrounding communities.
The India Project was one of EWB-Central Houston’s longest ongoing effort. On December 26, 2004, an earthquake off the coast of Indonesia triggered a tsunami that devastated the coastal regions of South Asia. In 2005, EWB-Central Houston began collaborating with other EWB chapters from across the U.S. to help rebuild the coastal villages of Andhra Pradesh, India. Through the course of several years, EWB installed solar power generation, rainwater harvesting, water wells, and water pumping stations for the many villagers displaced by the tsunami.
Kizito Michael Waburoko, an optometrist from the Ugandan village of Bukhaweka, requested help from EWB-Central Houston in late 2007. As the Executive Director of the Bukhaweka Vocational Training Centre (BVTC), Kizito sought assistance and knowledge or his students. In his words, “Water is life. Without knowledge in computers you are cut off from the rest of the world. Kindly try to help the centre with the above two projects.” Our Central Houston Professionals chapter applied for and officially received the projects through EWB-USA. The well and solar power system were installed in 2009, and the rainwater harvesting system was installed in 2010.