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Mikumi Solar Water Project 2016 – My experience with the 2016 Mikumi Solar Water project thus far has been truly sensational. The VETA students and faculty members have been warm and hospitable since our arrival at VETA Mikumi via Dar es Salaam.

Building upon the solar powered well project of 2015, my colleagues in the Mechanical, Electronics, and Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology programs have been working non-stop to implement a weather station with the already existing data logging system from last year, and a solar powered aeration and pasteurization system. As an Environmental Engineering Technology team member, I have been responsible for several water quality analyses of water samples from across the VETA campus distribution system. Due to the hazardous nature of some of our lab chemicals, we were unable to transport everything needed for comprehensive water testing into Tanzania. Regardless of this downside we have been able to test for the most important parameters of this project, coliform bacteria, and total hardness. Coliform testing has allowed us to determine to an extent, how contaminated the VETA groundwater supply, Mikumi Town surface water supply, and the St. Kizito Hospital groundwater supply are. Total hardness testing of the VETA campus water will indicate the efficiency of our solar powered aeration system at removing the scaling tendency of the groundwater.

In addition to our ongoing VETA Mikumi Solar project, we have started a needs assessment for potential solar powered well pumping and pasteurization at a local hospital called St. Kizito. So far we have met with the hospital director to tour the facilities and assess their water supply and distribution system. We are currently running bacteria tests on water samples collected from their underground water storage tank and the faucet inside the maternity ward.

I really couldn’t ask for a more inclusive and amicable team to be a part of. I feel honoured to work alongside a group of strong problem solvers to improve the water quality here at VETA in a sustainable and reproducible manner. I hope that we can achieve success with our prototypes and encourage the implementation of solar water systems in other regions.

Elizabeth Robinson

Environmental Engineering Technology

NSCC Waterfront Campus

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