UMD’s Engineers Without Borders fundraise to bring clean water to Kenya

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UMD’s first Engineers Without Borders group is a month away from beginning their mission to bring clean water to the village of Nyansakia in Kenya.

Like many trips and projects over the past few years, the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the trip from taking place, causing many students who in the group now to take the reigns from graduated students who began planning the trip a few years ago.

Two current members of the group, Cody Barrett and Allicia Petrich, visited the WDIO studios during Good Morning Northland to share more about their upcoming visit planned for May.

"We had an initial trip of students that went [to Kenya] two years ago and tested the water, and they found E. Coli and other nasty contaminants which really nobody would recommend drinking," said Barrett.

"We’re going and building a well that goes way below to the ground water which is much cleaner. So, with this one pump and a well, we’re designing a distribution system where everyone can get water within 30 minutes as opposed to walking up to six hours in some cases."

During the pandemic, Petrich noted that the student-led organization focused on local projects, including creating a spring water system for the Community Garden in Duluth.

"It offers free water for the city and recycles the water collected from the rain, especially when we had that really big rainfall."

The group is holding a silent auction fundraiser on Friday April 8th at Hoops Brewing Company from 5 to 8 p.m. to help with funding their trip to Kenya.

Drink sales at the event will also go toward helping the cause.