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Four students from the WVU Chapter of Engineers Without Borders traveled to Uganda in August to begin a five-year project that will provide a safe water supply for residents in the village of Kabughabugha.
Kabughabugha has a population of 7,200 people who live in extreme conditions without basic sanitation and hygiene practices or easy access to clean water. Women and children must walk up to three miles through the rugged terrain in the Rwenzori Mountains multiple times per day barefoot just to collect unfiltered water for drinking, cooking or washing.
WVUEWB is on a mission to provide the villagers with a clean and reliable water supply as well as a system that will pump water into the village, eliminating many of the hardships they face on a daily basis.
The goal of their first trip was to conduct an assessment of the current water supply that has been polluted with fertilizer and untreated sewage. Students spent five days collecting water samples to test for PH levels, conductivity, turbidity and other factors that would help them later establish filtration options for the water supply. They also surveyed the land and performed GPS mapping of the surrounding area to determine the best installation location for the proposed pipeline to the village.
They plan to return to Uganda in August 2018, when they will begin working with the locals to prepare the landscape for the installation of a water filtration system and pipeline. Students will also be tasked with teaching educational sessions on water pollution, testing and treatment to locals.