Engineering Solutions in Kenya’s Largest Slum

16th December 2016

Collaborating with local communities when designing engineering solutions is the key to transforming public spaces in Kenya’s largest slum, Kibera. That was the message from the Engineers Without Borders UK fellowship team on Tuesday 13 December 2016 as they presented their project to a packed room at University College London’s, Institute of Education.fullsizerender

The night showcased the work achieved by Engineers Without Borders UK fellowship volunteers this summer where they worked on the design of a school and a flood and drainage system in collaboration with our long term, Kenyan based partner, KDI. 

In particular the volunteers highlighted the importance of understanding the context when undertaking engineering projects in an environment as challenging as Kibera and how KDI’s long term involvement sustains the impact of the projects.

The volunteers also described how they worked with the community throughout the design and construction phases and adapted their approach to ensure that the end users needs were considered alongside the engineering solutions. The political, environmental and social challenges of working in such a densely populated slum were also discussed and prompted some great questions from the audience.

Engineers Without Borders UK volunteers with KDI
Engineers Without Borders UK volunteers with KDI

The group were part of our new 2016 Global Engineer Fellowship programme, where two engineers (Senior Fellows) and two to three engineering students (Junior Fellows) are paired together to work on a project put forward by one of our partner organisations. The programme is generously supported through a grant from The Happold Foundation.

If you are interested in learning more about our Global Engineer Fellowships or if you are interested in applying for our 2017 fellowships click here.


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