Apr 052007
 
Authors: Anica Wong

They help people in underdeveloped countries find water in drought seasons. They provide thermoelectric energy cooking stoves to people who usually cook their food over wood or dung fires. And they are hosting a race for the Fort Collins community.

Engineers Without Borders, a group of approximately 50 students, is hosting the second annual Globe-Trot five-kilometer race on Saturday at the Oval.

The proceeds from the race will benefit EWB and all of their ongoing programs and undertakings.

One of the group’s missions is to be involved in several water projects around the world, including in Central America, India and Africa.

“We deal with every phase, from funding to a new type of water system,” said Matt Hewitt, an engineering graduate student and member of EWB.

With these projects, group members help villages that have water shortages due to long drought seasons. Community wells dry up, so villagers request EWB’s help with increasing their water supply.

“We use the means we have; we try to improve their wells, drill new wells and find new locations for those wells,” said Gabriel Miller, a member of EWB and engineering graduate student.

They also install new distribution systems once the wells are dug and running.

EWB, which is in the process of changing their official name to the Global Impact Program, is also involved in several other projects that don’t require water.

One such venture is Project Firefly, which helps place energy efficient cooking stoves in villages that normally use wood or dung stoves for cooking.

“The open fires lead to many respiratory problems,” Miller said.

These products are clean burning cooking stoves that also generate electricity. There is a high demand for these inventions, especially in Guatemala, where 2,000 stoves are being placed every month. Miller hopes to increase that production to 15,000 a month because of the demand.

Along with the name change, the organization is moving to increasing diversity within its ranks.

“Many of the developmental problems are very complex,” Miller said.

He explained that there are many facets to their projects that can be solved by people who are not engineering majors. Some of the problems they face are business-related, which is where a student majoring in business would come in handy.

“We are looking for all majors,” Hewitt said.

The Global Impact Program is looking to be an interdisciplinary organization.

Although EWB focuses mainly on programs that benefit people in other countries, the group wanted to host a local event to publicize their efforts and raise awareness.

“This is a good way for us to get our name out there,” Hewitt said.

Staff writer Anica Wong can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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What: Globe-Trot Walk/Run

When: Sat. April 7

Where: The Oval

Registration: Begins at 8:15 a.m. $18 for students $20 for non-students

Race starts: 9:30 a.m.

Official qualifier for the Bolder Boulder 10K race

Awards, refreshments and prizes after the race

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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