008: Climbing for Water

September 3, 2018

A few years ago the people of Cange, Haiti needed water. Some of them had to walk a thousand feet down the mountain and climb back up lugging 40 pound buckets of water. Today a new system pipes clean water up the mountain and into Cange. A team of Clemson engineering students working with the Haitian partners helped make this happen.

Clemson Engineers For Developing Countries, CDEC, began in the fall of 2009 when seven students in civil engineering noticed that something was missing from their curriculum. CDEC designed a system that would filter out large contaminates, kill microbes and ultraviolet radiation and chlorine, and then transport the water through the village in new pipes buried underneath recently paved roads. It would be the first chlorinated municipal water system in the country of Haiti.

I met CDEC professor in practice, David Vaughn, in 2016 as we began telling the story of Clemson engineers traveling to Cange, Haiti as they continued to work alongside the Haitian people to service the municipal water system. Here is the interesting intersection. Clemson engineers were not traveling just to build and maintain this water system, they were traveling to Cange to work alongside the Haitian people, building global relationships. An educational experience for this new global economy. An educational experience outside the walls of the traditional classroom.

 

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