In the remote hamlet of San Pablo de Amali in Ecuador, access to clean water is a challenge due to various political and environmental issues. Without this vital access, the rural community’s farming and everyday life is under threat of drying up.
But with the help of Engineers for International Development at George Mason (EfID-GMU), a water distribution project is in place for San Pablo de Amali residents to get the water they need.
“With COVD-19, it was difficult to travel to Ecuador during 2020 and 2021,” says civil engineering student Camille Fulton, President of EfID-GMU. “In 2023 we have plans to return to San Pablo de Amali for phase three of the water distribution project.”
The EfID-GMU group has a great connection with the San Pablo de Amali community, which has about 200 people, according to Fulton. In preparation for travels, the group will work to buy and secure the equipment they need as well astake stock of any vaccines, travel documents, and travel restrictions they may encounter while in Ecuador.
During their week-long stay, the group will primarily focus on meeting with the community and local water board, doing water pressure checks within homes, conducting safe water information sessions for the community, and gathering general data to see what needs to be done for their next trip during the summer.
“The community understandably does not have a positive view of their water system and we hope to change and fix that,” says Fulton.
Her interest in EfID-GMU started back when she first joined Mason. She was immediately interested in the work EfID does and likened it to Doctors Without Borders, except with engineers.
“I am immensely proud of the club’s involvement,” she says. “Although we haven’t been able to provide students with international development work in the past couple years due to COVID-19, I’m happy everyone is coming back and ready to go this year.”
The water sustainability project is overseen by Mason engineering professor Mathew Doyle. EfID-GMU exists for students to participate in community-driven development programs worldwide through the design and implementation of sustainable engineering projects, while fostering responsible leadership.