Being part of the Mikumi Solar Water Project has opened my eyes in many ways. I never thought about having water as a privilege until I came to VETA. At first I complained about not having water in our house here. Then I came to the realization that this is an everyday struggle of the people in this community. I feel very lucky to be working on such an important project and to be able to work towards the long term goal of a reliable water source for VETA.
This year’s team of NSCC students are working towards this goal by replacing the solar submersible pump, creating a prototype ultra violet disinfection system for rain water, assessing the current system and compiling a network of valuable data for future students to use. I have learned that even though you come prepared with a plan, there are challenges that arise that can alter it along the way. Handing down all the knowledge we have gained will hopefully help next year’s team to expect the unexpected. When resources are limited and you have jobs to be completed, you often have to think outside the box to get them done.
Something I did not anticipate coming into this project is how welcoming and helpful the faculty and students are at VETA. Although I only heard good things coming into this experience, I did not fully grasp to what extent until I arrived. The masonry students have built a new stand for our solar panels, we had a faculty member assist us in wiring the pump, and Mr. Ali, who runs the system while we are gone, has helped in every way he can even though he speaks very little English. Everyone is more than happy to give us a hand.
This experience has definitely been a highlight in my life so far. I have met many amazing people and learned so much. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity and would highly recommend it to the 2nd year engineering students of 2019.
Environmental Engineering Technology Student
NSCC Ivany Campus