In Northwest Tanzania, near the Burundi border is the community of Biharu.  This community of over 12,000 people is currently living off of a water system meant to serve 3,000 people.  Having been in place for several generations, the water system in place lacks basic treatment processes, maintenance, upgrades, and the volume necessary to meet today’s and future consumption needs.  With a population that has quadrupled, we aim to help provide much-needed updates, repairs, and improvements to this community in need.  That is why we’ve decided to adopt this project to assist the Biharu community.

Our first assessment trip, initially planned for June 2020, has been postponed due to COVID-19. Until we can travel, we are planning to hire a local contractor to do remote assessment work for us. You can support the project and Biharu by donating here: EWB-GA Donation Link

Biharu Community Members at a water tap
Junction Box combining water sources

Project Team

Lizzie Wilson, Director of Projects and Tanzania Team Lead

Lizzie first joined Engineers Without Borders (EWB) as a student at Southern Methodist University (SMU). She participated in their Rwanda Project as Cultural Lead and in their Bolivia Project as a traveling member for their implementation project. While in the community in Bolivia, she collected soil and water samples for her research project on the soil and groundwater interactions. Upon completing her master’s degree at SMU, Lizzie moved to Austin and joined the Greater Austin chapter of EWB, becoming the Director of Projects and the Project Lead for Tanzania. Lizzie has a passion for using her engineering skills to empower the people around her and abroad. 

Feel free to contact Lizzie at projects@ewbgreateraustin.org

Brian Landry

Brian is a civil engineer who first became involved with EWB as a student at the University of Texas. The combined student and professional chapter was working on a clean water project in Panama, implementing bio-filtration sand filters, a spring box, and several kilometers of pipeline benefitting hundreds of people in the remote community. Working on the project for several years in college, eventually as project lead, he helped guide the Panama project through its closeout. Brian has now had the opportunity to rejoin the EWB-Greater Austin chapter as a professional and collaborate with the Biharu community on a water rehabilitation project to benefit the wonderful people of this growing community.

Abby Klein, Tanzania Team Member

Abby joined EWB because she believes nobody should have to live without basic human needs. The Biharu community in Tanzania lacks access to safe and reliable water. Providing the Biharu community with the system to access this basic necessity could change their lives and improve the lives of future generations. Abby holds a degree in civil engineering from Texas A&M University. Her experience includes environmental compliance and writing permits to protect the environment. Abby hopes she can use her knowledge and experiences to design and implement a water system for this community in need.

Koko Uko, Tanzania Team Member

Koko joined the Austin Chapter of  Engineers Without Borders and the Tanzania Water Rehabilitation project so that she could volunteer her design experience to this growing community of people with an innate right to accessible water. As a Nigerian national who lived in Lagos, Nigeria for eight years, Koko has first hand experience with the struggles of water access inequality. This experience has resulted in a dedication to contribute her learned technical skills to the improvement of water and sanitation infrastructure in the global south. Following her degree in civil engineering at Syracuse University, Koko moved to Texas to gain experience designing and managing design of utility infrastructure for multifamily, single family, and commercial industry use.

Marcus Snell, Tanzania Team Traveler

Water doesn’t have a right answer. There’s either too many people, too limited access, too little means, and no single solution. I came to EWB to work a problem that I cannot solve; I came to bring water to people. To do this I studied our interdependence with water infrastructure as an R&D engineer with the US Army Corps; I worked to design water distribution systems for rural communities as an engineering consultant; and I developed resilient water guidance as a public servant. By myself I cannot bring water to people, I cannot solve our water problem. But with our EWB team of engineers, this community in need, and your help we can work the problem together.