EWB-Yale Starts a New Partnership in Naitolia, Tanzania

Aug. 07, 2017 – For the next five years, the EWB Chapter at Yale will be working on a project in Naitolia Village in the Arusha Region of Tanzania, to improve the community’s access to clean water. Today, a team consisting of four undergraduates (Constance Lam, Patrick Hong, Madison Shankle and Annabelle Pan) and chapter mentors Dave Sacco and Prof. Jordan Peccia will leave for Tanzania on an assessment trip. Our goals are to better understand the current water problems in Naitolia and develop sustainable solutions to aid the community. Members of EWB-Yale will join with recent Yale School of Public Health graduate Laura Skrip, as well as Tula Ngasala, a Ph.D. candidate in civil engineering at Michigan State University and Naitolia community representative, to engage with community leaders and individuals in Naitolia to assess what can and should be done. We know from previous communication that the people of Naitolia rely on pond water for most of their household uses, including drinking and washing. However, due to heavy rain and erosion, the pond has filled substantially with sediment and does not hold as much water. We will focus this time on rehabilitating the pond, and then may consider additional improvements, such as protecting the pond from larger animals using fencing, building a system of taps to facilitate water procurement, or implementing a filtration system to remove harmful biomaterials from the drinking water.

Additionally, we will be conducting visits to local schools and clinics to evaluate the health situation in Naitolia with respect to water. Questions that we want to answer include: how frequently do people get sick due to contaminated water? How concerned are people with the safety and quantity of water they can access? What hygiene practices (such as handwashing) are being performed, and what more can be conveniently implemented in people’s lives? 

During the trip, we will log our activities and findings daily. We have been planning for months, and are taking careful consideration of local customs and expectations, and our potential impacts on the community. We are incredibly excited to find out what we can do in Naitolia to improve the people’s access to clean water.