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Reconstruction of the "MEVA" school in Haiti and construction of a cistern in order to improve the reliability of the drinking water supply

The Haiti project was launched in 2011 by the university group Engineers Without Borders - University of Karlsruhe in cooperation with "Haiti Care Association."

The aim of the project is the reconstruction of the "MEVA" school (House of the children in the village of Hope) and to assist with the construction of a cistern in order to improve the reliability of the drinking water supply. The school is located in one of the poorest neighbourhoods of Port-au-Prince and was destroyed by the devastating earthquake in January, 2010.

The school is in the process of being rebuilt to house and educate 300 children between the ages of two and sixteen. Due to its location, it cannot be connected to the public water network. A cistern is included to ensure an adequate supply of drinking water for every student throughout the entire dry season.

The local community, the parents, the principal and the teachers are all involved in the project and a few are even trained by EWB in maintenance and repair even though the cistern is designed to work maintenance-free for many years. In this way, EWB is creating a locally sustainable solution.

According to Mark Jones of EWB, the donation will help the project move from the planning phase to the implementation phase, and allow for the purchase of necessary materials, tools and the hiring of builders.


Technical Implementation

The massive cistern will be built in the courtyard of the school. The tank, with a volume of about 150 cubic meters, will be continually filled through a system of gutters on the roof of the school designed to collect and funnel rain water. This domestic water supply is then routed into the premises of the school where it can be used for drinking, cooking and washing.

The water quality is made potable in five steps. Initially, the water is forced through a fine vortex filter before entering into the tank to be cleaned. Once in the tank, a microbiological sediment layer at the bottom of the cistern creates a self-cleaning function. Then a coarse suction filter filters the water as it is removed from the tank. Any remaining viruses and bacteria are removed with chlorine tablets, and lastly a carbon filter cleans the water chemically. At this point the water is of drinking quality.



Borealis took an interest in supporting this particular project after the company had first sent blanket aid to the area through the Red Cross in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake. EWB Karlsruhe is made up of more than 100 students of various technical backgrounds. The organisation offers students a chance to gain valuable real-world engineering experience while helping to solve some of the most pressing issues to those in developing countries.

Visit to learn more about Engineers Without Borders - Karlsruhe

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