A project was conducted in the village of Ipalamwa by the Engineers Without Borders Los Angeles Professional Chapter (EWB-LA).
One of the most pressing issues identified was the dangerous means and time spent by the school children collecting water. The children attending school at both the private secondary and public primary schools collect their water at the bottom of steep ravines. Not only does this consume a lot of time, but it is dangerous, especially during the rainy season when the steep hills become slippery with mud. Although, the village had a variety of needs, the lack of water was highest priority. In 2007, OSDO had installed a water distribution system—a gravity tap system—that services a part of the village called Lulindi. Lulindi is located at the bottom of a large hill and the rest of the village of Ipalamwa is situated at the top of the hill.
In July 2010, three members of EWB-LA traveled to Ipalamwa to conduct an initial site assessment trip. The purpose of this trip was to build a relationship with the village members and our partnering NGO, Orphans and Social Development Organization (OSDO), as well as to collect data to determine a feasible first project. Data collected during this trip included water quality data, availability of water, water infrastructure, conditions of roadways and buildings, energy infrastructure, and interviews with key members of the community including school administrators, village leaders, and health personnel. EWB-LA members also visited in the nearby city of Iringa to evaluate the availability of construction materials.
In September 2011, four engineers from EWB-LA traveled to the same village to instal a rainwater catchment system at a primary school. These are the photos from that trip.