Tanzania trip

EWB club uses engineering skills to assess Tanzanian community’s water problem


During the 2022 Thanksgiving break, three students from Walla Walla Universities’ Engineers Without Borders club accompanied by two WWU professors traveled to Manda, Tanzania to assess the community’s water supply for their primary and secondary schools and their medical center.

The Manda community in Tanzania was chosen to be the EWB student club's next project based on the interests and skills of its current members. Their students spent their time visiting the project site, meeting with local leadership and a partnering nonprofit, and evaluating existing infrastructure. Nyasha Pazyakawambwa, junior business major and community engagement lead on the project, said, “I was moved by how welcoming the community was and the hospitality they showed us.”

While there, the students determined that the community lacks a clean, safe, and reliable water supply. Villagers walk several miles a day to collect water from the same lake where they bathe, clean dishes, and wash clothes. “Engineering skills came in handy as we tested water quality, took measurements, estimated flow rates, and made hydraulic calculations,” said Marino. The group is honing their engineering skills by working on how to expand the Manda communities current well and water main which will allow easier access to a safe water source. 

“It was a great experience to feel welcomed into a new culture and have the chance to use our skills and knowledge to make a real difference,” said Marino.

Engineers Without Borders is a non-profit humanitarian organization aiming to build a better world through engineering products that meet communities basic needs. The university's club is an official chapter of the larger EWB organization. The EWB student team received firsthand experience assessing the issue and are collaborating with professional mentors to develop a solution and design. 

Engineers Without Borders is having a fundraising gala on February 4. To buy tickets for the gala and learn more about their projects visit https://ewb-wwu.org/gala-3.

Posted Jan. 23, 2023

Group photos of students and locals
Tanzanian children carrying water.