Pennoni strives to be a contributor not more than just communities where we’re located – we’re committed to the global community as well. Over the years, Pennoni staff have donated time and expertise to underserved communities around the world through Engineers Without Borders (EWB). Their mission to partner with communities and develop leaders to build a better world goes hand and hand with Pennoni’s mission - partners for what’s possible.
According to the CDC, 3.6 billion people, nearly half the world’s population, do not have access to safely managed sanitation in their home. Lack of clean water, safe sanitation and proper hygiene can lead to disease and death around the world, mainly in middle- and low-income countries. Universal access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene has the potential to reduce the global disease burden by 10 percent.
With knowledge of the worldwide sanitation concerns, Tony Sauder, PE, PG, senior geologist and hydrologist at Pennoni and adviser to the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) student chapter of EWB, set out with UPenn students to ease the burden where possible.
With support from Pennoni, Tony and the students have been working with EWB to develop a system of latrines in rural villages in Lake Atitlan, Sololá, Guatemala. In Tzununá and Pajomel, Guatemala, most families in the communities have dilapidated latrines and some have no latrines at all. Under the advisement of Tony, the students are working construct latrines for every family in the community.
The team worked closely Arturo Ujpan Mendoza, regional coordinator for EWB Guatemala, who recently presented “Sanitation financing case study from rural Guatemala” at the Global Water Alliance conference at UPenn on October 6, 2022, to discuss the work done in Guatemala.
On their most recent trip, members were able to construct over 100 latrines with the help of local masons and NGO partner, Ati’t Ala’. In addition, the group was able to teach health and sanitation at a nearby school and nutrition center while in country.
This impact on changes the course of many communities and the people the people that reside within them. Improving sanitation reduces disease and illness and the severity and impact of malnutrition. The benefits of proper sanitation, include better health and wellness, promote dignity and boost safety (particularly among women and girls!), promote school attendance (girls’ school attendance Is significantly boosted) and so much more!
Pennoni is a proud supporter of Engineers Without Borders and will continue supporting global communities.