Views: 17 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2015-05-14 Origin: Site
Bring clean water to remote areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America.
LONGMONT, CO, June 5 (VNS) – Physicians working with the world-renowned Doctors Without Borders have saved countless lives by bringing medical care to remote regions of the world. More recently, engineers and engineering students working with Engineers Without Borders-USA have also been saving thousands of lives and improving living conditions by bringing clean drinking water, sanitation and irrigation systems to the developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Though it was created in 2001, the Colorado-based organization already has nearly 200 chapters at colleges and universities across America as well as 70 chapters of professional engineers – and continues to grow. It is currently working on 187 projects in more than 44 countries, mostly to provide villagers in rural areas with the access to clean drinking water and better sanitation. According to chapter coordinator Tracy Beavers, 1.2 billion people still lack access to clean water and 2.4 billion people lack adequate sanitation.
In a typical project, the University of Maryland chapter is currently working in Thailand on a project to pipe clean water from a mountain stream across two and a half miles of steep terrain to an orphanage and village where the only other source of water has been agricultural runoff. A chapter based at the Johnson Space Center is providing clean water and energy for a hospital and orphanage in Rwanda. And a chapter at Montana State University is bringing clean drinking water for the first time to a poor school district in western Kenya.
Nearly all the clean-water projects in developing countries depend on bacteria-resistant PVC pipe, officials said, citing PVC's light weight, ease of transportation and installation, its flexibility as well as durability, and its cost-effectiveness. "It is easy to work with", noted EWB project manager M. J. Jones, and easy for local communities to maintain.
"This is one of the great untold stories," commented Vinyl Institute president Tim Burns. "Without PVC – and PVC pipe – many of these projects simply would not have been possible." Engineers Without Borders-USA is a separate organization, unrelated to Doctors Without Borders.