Engineers Without Borders Works to Engineer Change

by Julian Gonsalves and Susan Khalifah, SE, PE

The CHICAGOLAND PROFESSIONAL CHAPTER (CPC), founded in 2005, is one of the largest Engineers Without Borders (EWB) chapters in the United States with five active programs in four countries around the world (Honduras, Guatemala, Burkino Faso, and Kenya); each program requiring a minimum 5 year commitment with a community. In our nine year history we have completed four programs (in Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala) and adopted five additional communities directly impacting approximately 16,000 people and indirectly affecting over 36,000 in the communities’ surrounding areas. Our projects include building community wells, flood mitigation, constructing pedestrian and vehicle bridges, energy management systems, sanitation and latrine systems, water storage and distribution systems and other infrastructure needs that the communities identify.

Here’s a lookback at what EWC-CPC accomplished in 2014:

For a school in Ak’Tenamit, Guatemala: we implemented a new sanitation system complete with 14 flush toilets, 4 waterless urinals, a hand washing system, and a anaerobic baffled reactor for treating the wastewater. We also installed a solar pump for the school’s water supply saving them $5,000 a year in diesel fuel.

For the community of Armenta, Honduras: we constructed a new storage tank, new sedimentation tank and trained and assisted community members on how to install pipelines and pipe bridges; working together with the community, the residents will have access to water everyday instead of once a week.

For the community of Candelaria, Honduras: we constructed a river training structure to help with the local economy, made improvements to their Waste Management site, demonstrated disposal methods for their medical waste, and helped the community with their environmental stewardship.

For the community of Mayanja-Kibuke, Kenya: we worked with community members on building spring boxes to protect their water sources from contamination. The team built 5 spring boxes and they trained the community on how to construct additional spring boxes as well as how to repair damaged ones.

For the community of Napenkara, Burkino Faso: in the village of Napenkara, the NGO Future for Faso Children (FFC) and Evanston Lighthouse Rotary implemented a water well in 2013. We are working with FFC to implement a second water well for the village.

All of these projects happened because of CPC’s hard work and the generosity of our donors. Our Chapter’s success is a direct result of our 120+ members and our 200+ network of volunteers. The CPC 2014 Year-End Campaign continues until January 10, 2015 and with your help we can have an even larger impact in 2015.

To learn more about our work, get involved or donate, please visit:

To contact EWB Chicagoland Professionals, please e-mail [email protected]



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