Clay Pipkin: Acoustical Engineering & Music Major, Violist.
1.6 Billion people, about 25% of the world's population, don't have access to clean water- that's five times the population of the United States of America. More people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war.
On January 7th 2010, I lead an Engineers Without Borders assessment/ implementation trip with ten of my peers and four professors to a small village in Abheypur, India. For the majority of the students travelling, it their first time seeing poverty beyond that of what is seen in America.
-before EWB, this pump was the primary source of drinking water for the villagers. Women would wait in line for hours hoping for electricity to power the pump. If the power cut out before they got their share, they were out of luck.
Throughout history, NGO's and other help groups have gone into countries and communities trying to make a difference, but often do more dammage than actual good. An example would be Goodwill in the late 1970's. They offered a massive donation of clothing to various communities in Kenya. It sounds great that they could offer goods to people in need, however in doing so, they destroyed an entire clothing and farming industry.
EWB works towards trying to make sure our projects have a lasting and sustainable impact.
I'll post again sometime soon telling more about what happened on my specific trip, how we ensure our projects are sustainable, and how I felt about the work I was doing.
In the meantime, check out last year's video: