MWP: Mali Water Project 3:30-4:50 TR


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Contact Information

Dr. Y. Osee Sanogo

Organization Mission

Develop and implement initiatives that will help Konilo-Coura, a remote village in Mali, West Africa to achieve sustainable socio-economic development. Use the progress achieved in Konilo-Coura as a model of community development for the surrounding villages.

Problems and/or Opportunities

Access to water is one of the most fundamental necessities for any self-sustaining community. The water-stressed village of Konilo-Coura, Mali, has approached the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, through Dr. Osee Sanogo, a post-doctoral research associate at the university who is a native of Konilo-Coura. Dr. Sanogo believes that an interdisciplinary student team in the Learning In Community (ENG 315) course can aid them in the creation of a reliable, economically feasible and sustainable solution to their water shortage and quality problems. Dr. Sanogo also sees this initial water endeavor as a stepping stone to future projects in areas, such as sanitation, agriculture and environmental management, as well as the cornerstone of a long-term partnership between the university and his village.

Solutions and Projects

Biosand filter project
Create bio sand filters with the community while teaching them how to properly assemble the filters on their own. The proper instructional and educational materials will need to be developed so that the community can work independently to produce filters for each household. This project will incorporate topics related to education, science, technology, entrepreneurism, business and finance.

Design and implement a water distribution system for the community in Konilo-Coura 
Collect data from a site assessment trip and use it to design a water distribution system for the community. This will require networking and collaborating with experts to determine what data, collection methods and equipment are needed to finalize the design. This project will incorporate topics related to technical design, mechanical pumps, solar energy, surveying the water table, and geological features.

Educational Workshops
These workshops would be tailored to different groups of the community to communicate important topics related to the importance of clean water and how to incorporate it into daily life. There will also need to be workshops to accommodate the implementation of bio sand filters (and possibly the distribution system as well). There could also be a structure implemented to enable community members to teach others. It would also be important to plan feedback sessions to incorporate the ideas of the community into the lessons. Most importantly, the proper materials need to be designed to ensure the lessons are remembered for a long-time after the university group leaves.

School Curriculum
The school in Konilo-Coura has agreed to work with the students to implement a curriculum to increase the sustainability of Mali Water Project. This should be a well-developed curriculum with lesson plans and activities for the school children to teach them about Mali Water Project year round. Some major learning goals for this curriculum would be: the importance of clean water in daily life, the science of the bio sand filters, the maintenance and use of bio sand filters, how to pack the filters and work as a team, what entrepreneurism is and how it is exhibited in their daily life, and an entrepreneurial vision of a small business for the filters.

The class will thrive with a variety of students interested in engineering, communications, environmental science, and education, as well as students with an interest of technology and education in developing areas.


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