WHO WE SERVE
The Engineers Without Borders chapter at Montana State University (EWB-MSU) seeks to improve the welfare of primary students and their families in Khwisero, Kenya. Motivation for these projects comes from the fact that diseases related to water and sanitation have outstanding consequences for children. Further motivation comes from the fact that time spent collecting water might be productively used elsewhere. These issues are relevant in Khwisero just as they are in much of the developing world.
The World Health Organization estimates that each year approximately 14% of all deaths in children under 5 years of age, or almost 1.5 million deaths, are related to diarrheal disease, which is caused by dirty water and sanitation. Further, the average time spent collecting water by women and children around the globe is an opportunity cost that, on average, is estimated to be the value of 30% and 15% of per-capita GDP, respectively.
EWB@MSU has partnered with community members in Khwisero, Kenya to help address the problems outlined above. Ronald Omyonga is a Khwisero native who applied for this community partnership through EWB-USA in 2004.
EWB@MSU water and sanitation projects are expected to improve welfare outcomes for students and surrounding communities. Specifically, EWB@MSU water projects provide access to cleaner water. Use of such water is expected to decrease incidence of enteric disease and improve health outcomes. Additionally, these water sources may shorten the distance to clean water for nearby households. Implementation of these projects is thus expected to reduce the amount of time households spend collecting water. Further, EWB@MSU sanitation projects are cleaner and prevent ground water contamination with a concrete seal in the base of the structure. Thus, these projects are also expected to improve health outcomes. Finally, both types of projects that EWB@MSU implements are expected to indirectly improve education outcomes because healthier students may attend more school and time saved collecting water may be transferred to extra time students spend at school.
During summer 2014 and 2016, EWB@MSU in partnership with members of the Khwisero community administered household and school surveys to determine if our goals and vision were coming to fruition.
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