ASCE Grant Helps Kenyan Community Reach Medical Facility
The Segera Mission Clinic located across the Ewaso Ng’iro River from the community of Endana in Kenya is a life-saving facility. In fact, it is the only medical facility within a 19 mile radius of its geographical region. The Mission serves as a hub of education and medical treatment; however, during the rainy seasons, from March to June and October to December, the river swells making access to the facility during these times impossible due to the high water level in the river. The Orange County Chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA (EWB-USA) decided it was time to step in.
Since 2008, the Orange County Chapter has been steadily working with the people of Endana to construct a footbridge that would provide a safe, viable and sustainable solution.
Prior to the Chapter’s intervention, members of the community had to walk 30 km round-trip walk - that could take more than one full day for some -- was required to reach the clinic. Given this extremely long distance, children could not attend school and serious health conditions went untreated. In addition, many minor ailments escalate in severity due to a lack of medical attention.
“In order to promote ownership and sustainability, we have partnered with the local community to provide labor and local materials,” said Puja Ruparel, the Chapter’s president. “We will also train the community on maintenance and upkeep. Impacting about 7,000 people, the construction of this vital infrastructure will improve the quality of life by ensuring access to medical, educational, and water treatment facilities.”
Now, the Orange County Chapter will have the financial help of a $10,000 grant annually awarded by ASCE. The grant supports a project carried out by an EWB–USA professional chapter. Projects undergo a rigorous evaluation process before one is selected.
“Our team, which is gearing up to travel to implement the bridge in June 2010,” said Ruparel, “is extremely grateful for the unrelenting support from ASCE, especially the recent ASCE grant through EWB-USA! We are hoping to make a difference in the world, one community at a time.”
>Read more about the Orange County Chapter’s project in Endana.
>ASCE also awards a $5,000 grant each year to an EWB-USA student or professional chapter. Read about this year’s recipient, The University of Wisconsin, Madison and how their project has brought water to a Rwandan community.