Karibu! Welcome!

Since 2004, EWB@ MSU's professional and student volunteers have worked with community members in Khwisero, Kenya to provide water and sanitation infrastructure at the district's 58 primary schools, making it easier for Khwisero's children to avoid waterborne disease and get an education.

In that time, the group has grown from a small club to one of MSU's premier student organizations, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund seven borehole wells, six composting latrines and a biogas latrine that serve thousands of community members.

Thank you for joining us as we continue to work hand-in-hand with local partners to make a difference in one small part of our world. As Western Kenya's limited internet access allows, we will update this blog while in-country with the successes, stories and lessons provided by our work.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Updates from Adam, Griffin and Jon


Things are going great! I have been doing a lot of mapping including points for 45 of the 58 schools. I'm slated to finish the other 13 primary schools on Sunday given good weather. We built an incubator using a bimetallic thermostat and a cartail light inside a sawdust/cardboard chamber to run the bacteria samples. I ran a few samples but have had some trouble maintaining temp, so we are going to try a new chamber out of bed mattress padding..... To be continued on that one.....Annie and I have come up with what seems like a pretty good method for laying out the survey. We collected random student names from Shirali test sheets then got info from the deputy head + teachers on home locations. Yesterday I GPSed 37 homes and many water sources. Annie collected more random names from two additional schools. It is coming together and seems to be a good balance between random/western, and Kenyan methods.

The people here are great and the kids are super cute. The culture is so different in many ways and the mix of simple life with the use of technology is very interesting. We are learning so much!Excited to see the next team next week!



Since arriving in Kwhisero, John, Chris, and I have been working on a new composting latrine design that incorporates the producion of biogas for cooking fuel. A final design was established on the 21st and drawings were made. The final drawings were given to Maurice, one of our contacts in Kenya, who is currently working to produce a 3D model using a CAD program. On the 23rd we proposed the design to the Shirali School Management Comittee. They seemed to like the idea. We are meeting with them again tomorrow in hopes that they will be able to do most of the materials procurement and be willing to help with some of the costs. Currently John and I are working to establish a materials list, cost estimates, and to find contacts in and around Kwhisero that sell the materials that will be required to build the latrine. Finally, we have also made several tippy taps and have shown them to the Shirali School Management Comittee.


Well we have been here a little over 2 weeks and things have become very interesting. Our team has been doing a lot with the survey work and getting a random list of names that will work for us and for the teachers that will be administering the survey. Griffin, Chris, and I have modified an in use bio-gas latrine system that we will be installing at Shirali. This design is complex compared to what we have done in the past, but I know that with the builders we have on teams 2 and 3 we can successfully complete this project.

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