UPEI students design solutions for clean water in Kenya
Projects for Mikinduri Children of Hope look to solve water problems in 2 Kenyan villages
Engineering students at UPEI are bringing their learning to life with two projects aimed at making a difference in the lives of people in Kenya.
Mikinduri Children of Hope and the UPEI School of Sustainable Design Engineering have teamed up to try and bring clean drinking water to two areas in the east African nation.
Ted Grant, president of Mikinduri Children of Hope, said the university's collaboration with the charity started five years ago when his niece, an associate professor at UPEI, went to Kenya and thought there was an opportunity for UPEI students to solve real life problems in the country.
The two projects by the engineering students focus on bringing clean water to villages in Kenya, which could save lives.
"One in five children die before the age of five because of bad water," Grant said, "and the designs that are coming forward will help us provide clean, purified water."
One of the projects is designing an improved intake on a mountainside to prevent silt from blocking the pipeline during the rainy seasons.
"So our job is to create something that helps to take out the sediment in the water to make sure that water can pass through during the rainy seasons to the village," said Nathan Duncan, a second-year student working on the project.
Kellen Devries, a fellow second-year student, is part of a second group of students working on creating a pipeline for schools and a health centre on Mageta Island, which is off the east coast of Kenya, to give them access to clean water.
One in five children die before the age of five because of bad water and the designs that are coming forward will help us provide clean, purified water.— Ted Grant
Wayne Peters, director of student experience at the School of Sustainable Design Engineering at UPEI, said the projects allow students "to hone skills in so many other ways that are not the ones we typically think about when we talk about engineering."
The students will be working on the final stages of their projects in the new year. In February, a team from Mikinduri Children of Hope will be travelling to Kenya to help make the students' solutions a reality.
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With files from Mainstreet P.E.I.