Emilia Chojkiewicz is an engineering student at Duke University and a member of the Duke Engineers for International Development (DEID). In February, Emilia contacted Club President Dave Weiss and asked if our Club would support DEID’s joint summer project with the Duke Lemur Center. The purpose of the project was to build a Rainwater Catchment System to provide a stable water source for their community partner, Manentenina. Manentenina, is a small village bordering the Marojejy National Park. Applying what they had learned in Duke classrooms and utilizing principles of engineering and design, the DEID team’s goal was to improve access to clean water by constructing a rainwater catchment system at L’École Primaire Publique (a primary school) of Manentenina, Madagascar.
DEID’s Madagascar project brought several benefits to the community most importantly clean water, which is necessary for drinking, cooking, and bathing. Following completion of the project, residents no longer have to use non-potable water, which can lead to infections and other illnesses that prevent people from leading healthy, peaceful lives. Also, through collaboration with the Manentenina community, the DEID team worked alongside local engineers and mechanics to build the structure. The rainwater catchment system is expected to create employment opportunities and economic stimulation for the community. Additionally, the DEID team included the children at École Primaire Publique in the engineering process. They wanted the children to be involved in the process of building something for their village, fostering a sense of pride for their work and realizing the potential that lies in engineering and education.
The International Service Committee of Cary-Kildaire Rotary Club was happy to provide $1,000 to this project and is even happier to hear of its successful completion.