2013 Engineers Without Borders Grant Program | Sanitation and Water Supply – Khwisero Region, Kenya

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2013 Engineers Without Borders Grant Program | Sanitation and Water Supply – Khwisero Region, Kenya

Helping communities meet their basic human needs

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.@TetraTech supports #EWBUSA and @ewb in bringing #sanitation and #CleanWater to #schools in #Kenya: http://bit.ly/2h33IFy
Friday, December 20, 2013 - 8:00am

Tetra Tech is proud to support Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) and Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB Canada) to help communities in developing countries meet their basic human needs through lasting, scalable projects and technologies. Tetra Tech has a long history of corporate support for both organizations, including financial sponsorship and leadership involvement.

Tetra Tech's EWB-USA Grant Program provides funding to individual projects with which U.S.-based Tetra Tech associates are involved. From a field of worthy applicants, Tetra Tech selected four 2013-2014 EWB-USA grant recipients. In this article, we focus on sanitation and water supply in the Khwisero Region of Kenya.

Bringing Sanitation and Clean Water to Schools in Kenya

Families in the Khwisero Region of western Kenya face challenges in accessing clean water and adequate sanitation. Children, especially girls, often miss school because they spend most of their day collecting water and carrying it several miles back to their homes. Most of the springs are downhill from cattle grazing areas and other sources of contamination and test positive for potentially infectious coliform bacteria. Most homes and schools in Khwisero have pit latrines that pollute nearby water and prevent the surrounding land from being used for agriculture. Latrines are often used for less than a decade before needing to be replaced.

Through the EWB Montana State University Chapter (EWB-MSU), Tetra Tech is supporting sustainable water and sanitation projects at schools in the Khwisero region. New boreholes reduce both the time families spend collecting water and the rate of disease in the community, which in turn increases children’s school attendance.

Sustainable composting latrines, which have a longer lifespan than traditional pit latrines, allow schools to transform their waste into fertilizer that the schools sell. Schools with wells also sell water to fund maintenance and pay for school fees.

EWB-MSU has worked in 16 schools in the community since 2004. The chapter’s mission is to implement community-driven water and sanitation facilities at all 61 primary schools in Khwisero. A group of community leaders oversee the project locally, ensuring each school is ready to implement and maintain the projects at its site.

“Our strength and ability to implement these projects has come from the local people we work with,” says Bronwyn Rolph, former Tetra Tech intern and president of EWB-MSU. Tetra Tech’s grant will extend the program to additional schools in 2013-2014.