Our travel team of three students and two mentors recently returned to the United States after our 2014 Implementation Trip in Naluja, Zambia. Students Lauren Etter, Scott Nickelsberg and Donovan Guttieres along with mentors Josh Das and Balaji Kamakoti successfully implemented the cell signal amplification system we developed and tested at BU this past year. In addition, the team completed a Pilot Implementation of the Biosand water filtration system while conducting water filter training workshops within the community of Naluja. We would like to share some of their experiences by posting this small photo gallery. Congratulations 2014 Travel Team! We are all excited about the great progress accomplished in Zambia and look forward to further improving our student-run organization and sustainable projects.
Photo: Tamika, Balaji, Donovan, and Josh posed at Victoria Falls, located in Zimbabwe just south of Zambia.
Photo: Scott, Lauren, Balaji, and Donovan stood on the community’s water tower to perform preliminary testing of the network booster system. The team needed to test the system to locate the directionality of the strongest signal. The team utilized sustainable sources of power for use in the active booster system by also installing a solar panel to supply energy.
Photo: Community members help collect rocks for use in the water filters built for testing water quality. We must ensure the design provides high water quality before replicating it throughout the community for everyday use.
Photo: The travel team talked with the 25 headmen of the community at a meeting on their second day in Zambia. Donovan recalls: “It was quite humbling to receive their positive feedback and support, especially since the health clinic staff and ZCHARD were their to emphasize the importance of meeting halfway in terms of commitment to the projects.”
Photo: This photo depicts the first chance the travel team had to address the community; expecting a small group of community members, the entire team was shocked and excited to greet over 800 residents. Lauren Etter reflects on this “incredible” experience: “within five minutes of arriving, we were handed a microphone and told we had 45 minutes to speak to the community about our project. We had 45 minutes to transfer valuable knowledge; 45 minutes to help the community begin to make a difference. Our team realized that we had 45 minutes to establish an important base of knowledge in the community; this was an opportunity to connect with the community, and provide them with necessary knowledge about how they can construct a filtration device and use other methods of sanitation to help prevent diarrheal diseases. This first workshop put the entire project into perspective…we were not just providing these people with knowledge about how to construct a water filter…we were, rather, providing them with knowledge that they will use to make an immediate difference in their daily lives. “
Photo: This depicts an educational session held with community members to transfer essential knowledge about the Biosand water filtration system. The team focused on providing information about the construction of the filters along with information on personal hygiene.
Starting the semester off with even more projects to consider, research, and prototype, we are looking forward to another year of work with the community in Naluja!