Gina Parra and Julian Falconi talk to the Club about Engineers Without Borders
The Fernandina Beach Rotary Club recently welcomed Gina Parra and Julian Falconi of the University of Florida chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), which collaborates with local partners to design and implement sustainable engineering projects to improve the quality of life for communities throughout the world. Parra and Falconi outlined their current water project in Khanalthok, a village of 85 families southeast of Kathmandu, Nepal. Parra said, while isolated, the village is home to a secondary school with more than 350 students. Sources of water for the village and the school are limited and most are either inaccessible or contaminated. She added that village children often suffer from water-borne illnesses that prevent them from attending school. In 2013, 17 members of the UF EWB chapter along with two engineering professors traveled to Khanalthok to begin phase one of a five-year program to provide a clean and sustainable source of water for the community. Falconi said the group, working in conjunction with Kathmandu University engineers and members of the village, will begin phase two of the project this summer -- a further assessment of the best water catchment, storage and filtration system to meet the community’s needs.