Sharjah, (UAE), January 12, 2014: Ten students from American University of Sharjah (AUS) have recently returned to the country from Sri Lanka after installing Hydraid BioSand water filtration systems for needy communities in Badulla district. The project was an initiative of the AUS Engineers Without Borders Club under the supervision of the Office of Student Affairs.
A BioSand filter is a water treatment system that is sized for daily use by households that do not have safe or treated water sources available. BioSand filters remove 95 to 99 percent of organic contaminants, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, worms and particles.
According to Tuqa Khalid, President of the AUS Engineers Without Borders Club, “This trip allowed us the opportunity to utilize our knowledge and education to give back to the world. We lead a privileged life here in the UAE, and most of us wish to do more to help the less fortunate communities all around and not just by raising awareness for causes, or collecting money for charities. This trip was an inspirational experience of a lifetime, and it will hopefully open up the gateway to more projects, which will help all parties involved.”
This event was sponsored by Bee’ah, the Middle East’s leading integrated environment and waste management company. Additional support was provided by ITL World, one of the largest travel management companies in India and the Middle East. In Sri Lanka, the students were supported by the Helping Hills Foundation.
“I thank our sponsors for supporting this educational-humanitarian initiative to help needy communities have access to clean drinking water. This is a one-of-a-kind experience for our students wherein they can practice their engineering skills while at the same time perform community work to support the less fortunate members of society,” said Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
The students also met with the Mayor of Badulla, and worked in conjunction with the Badulla Municipal Council, which provided the team with workspace and equipment. The students worked a daily schedule from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and did all the manual labor themselves, from testing the available material and sieving analysis to educating the users about the assembly of the filters and their maintenance.
After the work was completed, the students visited the School of the Blind and Deaf Children and Badulla’s elderly home, where they spent time with the community and helped repaint the facility’s walls.