Engineers Without Borders UNM Projects
In a previous project called the Ramah Hogan Heating Project located in Ramah, New Mexico EWB-UNM aimed to make a public building usable in the chilly winter temperatures by heating the building with solar power. The solar panel was successfully installed. However due to lack of communication from Ramah the project has been closed.
In Bolivia, EWB-UNM has worked with two Tsimane communities on water availability and sanitation.
The first community was Campo Bello. However Campo Bello was drastically affected by a large-scale flood in the first few months of 2014. This flood halted travel to the communities in 2014 and Campo Bello was largely disbanded and moved out of the area to avoid damage from future flooding. On the 2015 implementation trip it was found that the government of Bolivia has begun redevelopment of the area providing, housing, water and electricity to a new area for the residents of Campo Bello to be relocated to. In light of this information EWB-UNM is working to close our project with that community. Prior to the flooding EWB-UNM had been working with Campo Bello on water sanitation. The project involved making biosand filters for members of the community to share. Before the floods the community had successfully demonstrated the understanding of the biosand filters and maintained them successfully.
Tacuaral Del Matto
In the other Bolivian community, Tacaraul Del Matto, the group is working on potable water availability. The project team lead by Santiago Trujillo is working to design the pump and well head for installation of the well. Currently (April 2016) EWB-UNM is in close communication with a local driller in the region. On the 2015 assessment trip the community set up an email address for EWB-UNM and other organizations to communicate with them. This email is being tested. Local partners in the area are the Tsimane Health and Life History Project (THLHP) based at UNM, and the Gran Consejo (Local government) of the Tsimane people. The first potable water well was installed in summer of 2016. Water samples taken from the well showed little to no E. Coli and Fecal coliform and nonharmful levels of nitrates in the well water. The well was 24 meters deep and the total cost of sending a travel team, hiring a local driller and installing the hand pump was approximately $15,000. The group is currently raising money to return and install another potable water well in the village.
UPDATE 2018: The travel team of Taylor Ziska, Wesley Eccles and Thomas Shoemaker successfully installed a 2-inch well with at the school to provide water for the children who live and travel to Tacuaral Del matto for school with clean water. The water test results came back with safe levels of all metals and common ions such as nitrates.
Jemes Pueblo Agriculture Project
Collaboration with the Flower Hill institute and UNM mechanical engineering students are working to create a modular and open source design of a four season greenhouse designed to fight food insecurity and food deserts across indigenous america. More information to come.