This December, members of the University of Maine student group Engineers Without Borders will embark on a second assessment trip to the community of El Descanso, Ecuador. The trip is intended to lay the groundwork for the development of a sustainable water supply system.
In May 2016, four EWB-UMaine students completed an initial visit to the 120-person community. Much of El Descanso consists of subsistence farmers who are food rich, but economically impoverished and often lacking in water supply.
The main goal of the project is to obtain a clean, year-round water supply, which would help improve the health and economic situation of El Descanso citizens.
During the previous assessment trip, the team investigated additional sources for water collection. From Dec. 16 through Jan. 11, four students and one mentor will travel to El Descanso. The trip falls during the dry season and will hopefully yield quantifiable data as to which sources can effectively sustain the community.
EWB-UMaine’s first project spanned five years and was completed in 2013. It resulted in the implementation of a septic system for a community in Dulce Vivir, Honduras.
To learn more about EWB-UMaine and their projects, visit the group’s website or attend one of their meetings at 7 p.m. Tuesdays in the Foster Center for Student Innovation. For more information, visit https://engineering.umaine.edu/2016/10/31/umaine-ewb-making-difference/