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Muramba, Rwanda
Phase III

Prepared by:

The University of Wisconsin Madison
EWB Student Chapter

March, 11th, 2008
EWB-UW: Muramba, Rwanda Phase III 1/1/08

Executive Summary

Continuing Water and Renewable Energy Efforts in Muramba, Rwanda
July 2007

Sustainability is one of the founding principals of Engineers Without Borders.
Efforts to continue sustainable practices in Muramba, Rwanda must be encouraged through
collaboration of all involved parties in-country. This is one of the many reasons why the
University of Wisconsin chapter of Engineers Without Borders traveled again to Muramba
in July 2007. Five UW engineering students from a range of disciplines, a film student, a
New York sound engineer, and a UW French interpreter came together to work on projects
including a rainwater catchment, a fuel briquetting assessment, a BioSand water filter, and a
documentary film about Muramba & EWB-UW’s collaborative work in this village.
Focusing on water quantity and quality issues, the UW team endeavored to create
solutions that would help lessen these problems. Water issues have been identified by
previous group trips as the central issues facing ordinary Murambans. An average Rwandan
uses 15L of water per day. In comparison, an average United States citizen uses 575L per
day []. One water tap in
Muramba was also documented as being E. coli positive. The UW team designed a
rainwater catchment and BioSand filter to try to address these local water issues.
Fuel briquetting was introduced to Muramba in July 2005. The goals of fuel
briquetting are to provide an alternative fuel to wood and to teach a marketable skill to
those who wish to know about the technology. During this trip, an assessment was taken to
find out how the technology had been accepted. Fuel briquetting, in its current state, was
found to be inactive, but interest was still high among vocational students and a group of
local Murambans. Problems in the process hindered it from being accepted by an
entrepreneurial group. Further tests were also conducted to help find the best local mix
design for the briquettes. Two local leaders acknowledged their desire to continue fuel
briquetting after the UW departed. The arrival of an EWB-UW purchased fodder chopper
will also help the fuel briquetting process become more accepted. This fodder chopper
currently resides at the Vocational College under Innocent Kambande’s supervision.
Words and pictures provide a wealth of information after an EWB team returns from
a trip, but in a way this medium is very static. EWB-UW decided to expand into a more
dynamic medium: film. Because of a close collaboration with UW-Milwaukee’s
documentary film department, students at UW-Madison, -Milwaukee, the Madison and
Milwaukee area, presentation attendees, and hopefully many more Wisconsinites can now
view the motions and sounds of Rwanda in the future. For more information about film
viewing, presentations, and copies please contact Jonathan Lee
The long-term sustainability of an international project relies on the continued
collaboration between local and foreign groups. Returning teams should be prepared to
evaluate the state of the installed rainwater catchment, BioSand filter, and fuel briquetting

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EWB-UW: Muramba, Rwanda Phase III 1/1/08

1.0 Introduction....................................................................................................... 5
1.1 Project Description.................................................................................. 5
1.2 Background of Project............................................................................. 5
1.3 Engineers Without Borders Involvement................................................. 5
1.4 Community Involvement......................................................................... 6
1.5 Community and Project Contacts............................................................ 6
1.6 Travel and Lodging.................................................................................. 7

2.0 Rainwater Catchment Project........................................................................... 8
2.1 Project Description................................................................................... 8
2.2 Design & Layout...................................................................................... 8
2.3 In-Country Assessments and Re-Evaluation............................................ 9
2.4 Materials and Transportation.................................................................... 13
2.5 Construction and Vocational School Involvement................................... 13
2.6 Final Outcome & Discussion of Water Availability................................. 14

3.0 BioSand Filter Project........................................................................................ 14
3.1 Project Description................................................................................... 14
3.2 Design....................................................................................................... 15
3.3 Construction of Beta Version.................................................................... 15
3.4 Future BioSand Filters and Placement of Filters...................................... 16
3.5 Water Testing Report & Filter Construction Guide.................................. 17

4.0 Continuing Support of Fuel Briquetting Initiative........................................... 17
4.1 Project Description.................................................................................... 17
4.2 Fuel Briquetting Status in Muramba......................................................... 17
4.3 In-Country Research.................................................................................. 19
4.4 Vocational School, Community Participation, & Sustainability............... 22
4.5 Potential Fuel Briquetting Research & Support........................................ 22

5.0 Film Documentary............................................................................................... 24
5.1 Documentary Description & Focus........................................................... 24
5.2 Materials and Logistics.............................................................................. 24
5.3 Funding...................................................................................................... 24
5.4 Documentary Utilization............................................................................ 24

6.0 Safety...................................................................................................................... 25
6.1 Roof Collapse Accident.............................................................................. 25
6.2 Safety: A High Priority............................................................................... 26

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7.0 Financing............................................................................................................... 27
7.1 Funding Sources......................................................................................... 27
7.2 Simplified Comprehensive Budget............................................................ 27

8.0 Future EWB-UW Involvement........................................................................ 28
8.1 Lessons Learned and Future Evaluations............................................... 28
8.2 Changes in Project Methodology............................................................ 28
8.3 Translate the Experience......................................................................... 29
8.4 Next Phase and Ideas for Projects........................................................... 29

9.0 Acknowledgements............................................................................................ 31

10.0 Memorial - Peter Bosscher............................................................................. 31

List of Appendices
Appendix A Site Assessment Information............................................................ 33
Appendix B Relevant Data (E.g. Water Testing Data, Percolation Data etc.).... 37
Appendix C Material Costs & Other Budget Items.............................................. 38

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1.0 Introduction

1.1 Project Description

The community of Muramba lies in the province of Gisenyi in northwestern
Rwanda, bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Muramba refers to the
geographical area under the influence of the local Catholic Deanery, including four parish
churches. The village encompasses several primary schools, three secondary schools, and
a vocational school, which teaches community members, many of whom cannot afford
tuition at the secondary schools, basic vocational skills.
Continuing the efforts of past EWB-UW Rwanda team, our 2007 group began
several projects focusing on the following issues: water quantity and quality, renewable
energy, and documentation. These core focuses materialized into our four projects:
rainwater catchment, BioSand filter, fuel briquetting, and film projects. Each of these
projects brought with them unique problems and solutions, and not one of them is a cure-
all, and therefore each one must be backed up with continued support for years to come.
However, all of our endeavors were designed to address known problems in the
community regarding water and energy issues. The long-term success of this project
relies on the sustained efforts of all of the parties involved to seek solutions to future
problems. The progress of these projects will be documented through continued dialogue
with the community contacts in Muramba.

1.2 Background of Project

EWB-UW’s relationship with the community of Muramba dates back to 2003. We
have been involved with water and energy projects since the group’s inception. Below is
a table of the project history for the EWB-UW group.

Travel Date Type Project
2004 Assessment (Apr.) & Water Delivery, Solar Installation
Implementation (July)
2005 Assessment & Water Delivery
Implementation (July)
2006 - None
2007 Assessment (Apr.) & Rainwater Catchment, BioSand Filtering,
Implementation (July) Fuel briquetting, Film Documentation

1.3 Engineers Without Borders Involvement

The group that went to Muramba in July of 2007 consisted of people from
Madison, Milwaukee, and New York City. The group from Madison was made up of
individuals from the student Engineers Without Borders chapter at the University of

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Wisconsin Madison. One member was from Milwaukee; a documentary film student at
the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The final person was a sound engineer from
New York City who operated the sound boom for the film recording. Three members
stayed in-country for ten days while the rest of the group remained in Rwanda for the
duration of the one month trip. The table below lists the individuals who participated.

Project Name Organization
Fuel Briquetting, BioSand Filter Brad Hotle EWB-UW
Fuel Briquetting, BioSand Filter Julia Wagner EWB-UW
Fuel Briquetting, BioSand Filter John Kenney EWB-UW
Translation Allison Taylor EWB-UW
Rainwater Catchment John Lee EWB-UW
Rainwater Catchment Tim Miller EWB-UW
Fuel Briquetting Megan Bender EWB-UW
Film Joe Sacco UW-Milwaukee
Film Zack Hagan New York

1.4 Community Involvement

Individuals from the College of the Immaculate Conception (CIC), Muramba
Parish, and the St. Charles Lwanga Kolping Vocational Training Centre - Muramba
participated in events ranging from foundation construction to instructional workshops to
group discussions. For the rainwater catchment project, Innocent Kambande filled the
role as construction manager. Vocational students also helped during various times each
of the three development projects. Two Parish members, Patrice Niyitegeka and John de
Dieu Bazambanza, took on the shared role of in-country fuel briquetting contacts. Their
roles with this effort are greatly appreciated and will be extremely useful during future
In Muramba, there are many more groups who wish to collaborate on future
projects, however we have only worked with a few. At the CIC, a student group called
the World Changers asked us to sit down and talk with them one afternoon. This
discussion gave us a new perspective: one of a student in Muramba. Great potential
resides within these groups. Through collective collaboration and personal responsibility
from both sides to continue appropriate projects, Muramba and EWB-UW can see these
groups accomplish greater and greater goals over time.

1.5 Community and Project Contacts

Many people working collaboratively together make each EWB project possible.
Having the necessary contacts will alleviate unwanted and unneeded pressure during this

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process. Below is a list of contacts used to bring together the project in 2007. Future
groups should look to this list as a resource and not hesitate to expand it.

Contact Name Organization Email Past Project Role
Brad Hotle EWB-UW Fuel Briquetting, BioSand
Julia Wagner EWB-UW Fuel Briquetting, BioSand
John Kenney EWB-UW Fuel Briquetting, BioSand
Allison Taylor EWB-UW French Interpreter
Jonathan Lee EWB-UW Project Manager
Tim Miller EWB-UW Project Manager
Megan Bender EWB-UW Fuel Briquetting
Sister Donata CIC Muramba Lodging
Joe Sacco UW-Milw. Documentary
Jean Paul EWB-Rwanda Interpreter, Guide,
Bazansanga Material Acquisition
Jean Pierre USAID Transportation, Material
(Peter) Muligo Acquisition
Zack Hagan New York Documentary Sound
John de Dieu ESECOM Fuel Briquetting Contact
Herman Muramba Orphanage Director
Niyonzima Parish
Innocent Vocational Construction Manager
Patrice Muramba Fuel Briquetting Contact
Niyitegeka Parish
Max Gold EWB-CU CU Project Manager, Foul
Flush Resource
Prakash Bhatt Aqua-san Afri-tank Contact

1.6 Travel and Lodging

International Travel was made possible through two sources of funding. For UW-
Madison students, domestic and international airfare was paid through ASM student
organization funding. Student organizations submit budget proposals to ASM. Then, a
committee within ASM oversees presentations given by these student organizations. This
committee will then vote on whether to fund the student org or not. EWB-UW received
funding, and a percentage of this budget is earmarked for travel expenses.

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Traveling in-country materialized itself in many forms. Buses, motos, van taxis,
and chartered taxis were all used. Trucks and jeeps from the College of the Immaculate
Conception (CIC) and the parish were used to travel from Kigali International Airport to
Muramba. Tim Miller and Jean Paul Bazansanga coordinated most travel arrangements.
Vehicle coordination can also be made through Sister Donata.
Traditionally, the EWB-UW teams have stayed in the guest rooms at the CIC.
There are about ten guest bedrooms with about fifteen beds. The CIC and EWB-UW
setup a rate of $15 per person per night to pay for lodging and all meals.
When the team was in Kigali, we stayed at Hotel Castel. Previous groups have
also done this, and have found that two people can stay in one room comfortably. Rates
will vary given a certain exchange rate, but we paid 25,000 RWF per room, per night.

2.0 Rainwater Catchment Project

2.1 Project Description

Previous EWB-UW assessment and implementation trips urged the need for
solutions to water quantity issues. Assessment trips discussed possible solutions with
local leaders while implementation trips put those words into action. To further our
commitment to efforts toward water quantity solutions, EWB-UW planned and
implemented with the assistance of the vocational school a rainwater catchment for the
church in Muramba. With a useable surface area of about 300 m2, the roof gave a great
plane for water collection.
After the July 2005 implementation trip, EWB-UW applied for a grant from the
International Rotary Club of Madison. This gift’s main purpose was to fund future water
projects in Muramba. Our group decided to use the grant for the rainwater catchment
project and the smaller, water quality, BioSand filter experimental project.

2.2 In-Country Assessment, Re-Evaluation, and Rainwater Data

Tim Miller, a civil engineering graduate of UW-Madison, left in March 2007 for a
teaching position at the College of the Immaculate Conception in Muramba. This allowed
the UW Rwanda group a unique contact to gather information about project viability. He
sent reports back to the group in Madison discussing future plan topics. He gave the first
assessment of rainwater catchment’s practicality by taking measurements and compiling
these results in a CAD drawing shown below.
A second assessment came when the full group came to Muramba. Instead of a
two-tank solution as shown in the CAD drawing, a one-tank answer for the east side of
the church was decided upon. An aerial view of the final layout can be viewed in the
picture labeled final layout. During the second assessment, a foundation for the tank was
discussed. The location for the tank although stable, sloped slightly about five feet until

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changing into a small hill. A concrete and stone foundation would solidify this placement
giving the tank a decidedly permanent location.
Specific rainwater data for Muramba was not available, and taking data for
rainfall would have been a yearlong commitment - too long and unneeded in an area with
a rainy season known for its high water volume. In order to give our group some sort of
quantifiable data, average rainwater data was found for the city of Goma, Democratic
Republic of the Congo at

Figure 1. Assessment of Church Dimensions

The city is about 30 miles from Muramba, Rwanda. It is estimated that this
average rainwater data will be similar to the data that could be taken for Muramba.
During the rainiest parts of the year in Goma, September to January, rainfall averaged
between 4.2 to 5.5 inches per month or 105.5 to 140.9 mm per month. Averages for a year
included 46.6 inches and 1182.9 mm respectively. With a used roof surface area of
300m2, the estimated potentially captured rainfall was calculated to be 355,000 liters per
year. If a population of 1,000 drew from this source, it is estimated that on average there
will be 6.8 new liters of water per person per week.

2.3 Design and Construction

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The basic idea behind a rainwater catchment is water storage. In most designs, a
gutter system allows water to flow to a container of some kind. Issues revolving around
water quality, foundation construction, and gutter attachment proved to be the most
Describing our system from the ground up, the foundation should be recognized
first. It was realized that a foundation would be needed for the massive tank to sit upon.
In discussing this with Innocent, a design materialized. The foundation, a three- by three-
meter by one-meter structure, was built from local stones acquired within the Ngororero
district and concrete purchased in Kigali. After discussing the design, the vocational
school worked quickly to finish, and after two weeks completed it. A montage of the
foundation construction can be seen in Figure 3.

Figure 2. Design of Church Rainwater Catchment

The next component of the rainwater catchment is the tank. EWB-UW did not
design this tank opting instead to buy it locally. Afritank is a company solely devoted to
large water tank construction. For our project, it was easier to purchase a tank in-country
than to build one on-site. For a 10,000L tank, we paid about $1,300. The tank comes with
areas where large holes can be drilled for input and output of water, and an access
opening at the top for cleaning the tank. The tank, by the end, would rest on top of this
The most detailed component of the catchment is the foul flush. The
recommendation for a foul flush and its design came from the University of Colorado-

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Boulder. The foul flush removes small debris and floating particulate from the water. It
will mostly catch bird feces, roof dirt, and pieces of decomposed foliage.

Figure 3. Foundation Construction Montage – Beginning to End

The foul flush works as a first catch during a storm. The first small volume of water, the
water that is the dirtiest, fills two 150L drums. The drums will catch the first few minutes
of the storm. After that, the water is diverted to the main holding tank where it is stored.

Figure 4. Foul flush details - Units given in centimeters.

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Water drains from the foul flush for three days until it is completely empty. The details of
the foul flush construction and the materials that the UC-Boulder team provided us can be
found in a supplemental report available from EWB-UW (contact Jonathan Lee,

Figure 5. Two foul flush containers.

Gutter construction provided the group with an interesting problem. How do we
retrofit gutters to a pre-existing structure? Gutters were purchased in Kigali to catch the
water running off the roof, but these gutters needed to be attached in order to be close to
the edge of the church.
Our solution involved constructing a faux fascia board. This solution would allow
the gutters attachment to be screwed or nailed into place. Figure 6 shows our solution.

Figure 6. False façade for gutters.

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With the main components of the design in place, the plumbing for the system
could then be set in place. This work extend past our time in Muramba, and along with
the whole project was completed in October of 2007. Due to failure of some gutter
components, repairs continued until their completion in March 2008. Below the plumbing
of the system is shown.
Notice the obvious problem in the plumbing. Water as it rises from the flow flush
is not diverted to the tank, but rather it backs up into the gutters. This was not built to the
specifications that we had left with the technicians. Presumably, there was some loss of
information after our departure date. In the end, the problem was fixed and water now
flows into the tanks correctly. Future groups should assess the rainwater system for
correct operation.

2.4 Materials and Transportation

A detailed materials list can be found in Appendix C of this report. It gives all the
purchases made for both of the water projects. This list can be used in the future to assist
groups who wish to install a rainwater catchment system.
Having contacts is essential for all projects, especially for the largest items. Here
is the contact that we made in Kigali for purchasing Afritanks: Prakash Bhatt,
Transporting materials and budgeting for this transport can be an overlooked but
crucial part to a project. Jean Paul acted as a very effective coordinator for material and
team transportation. Look to Jean Paul or Peter Muligo in order to transport materials
from Kigali to Muramba. Costs for the transport are given in Appendix C but vary with
order and size of the vehicle. All of the material transportation issues are usually solved
in-country and day-of. Money should be budgeted for material transportation as needed.

2.5 Vocational School Involvement

The vocational school has been an asset to many EWB-UW projects. The learning
exchange that takes place is very unique to our situation. To better manage projects and
keep them efficient in Muramba, think of the projects as the dual work in a construction
and project management company. The vocational school with considerable knowledge
of building techniques in Muramba can be thought of as the construction company. EWB-
UW can be thought of as the construction management; the group responsible for
material acquisition, financial backing, and project organization. This simple measure
will help the distribution of responsibilities during the project, and lessen the stress of the
EWB-UW project manager. Innocent Kambande can be viewed as the manager of this
hypothetical construction company. EWB-UW should not do the large part of the
construction because of the short amount of time we are in country. We are better
advisors and designers. Our backing, support, and resources allow the groups who want
to build projects designed by us to do so.

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Students of the vocational school are a great resource. Students at vocational
school participate in service-learning projects, gaining practical technical experience
while serving the community by constructing the projects. Like many of the engineers
who travel to the country, real-life experience is vital to future jobs. This is no different
for the vocational students. Project work can be given to students as work-study projects;
these are real, community projects that benefit their learning experience and the greater
populace. The students are eager to learn and show that they have learned skills from the
vocational school.

2.6 Final Outcome & Discussion of Water Availability

After the EWB-UW team left Muramba, work on the rainwater catchment
continued. Innocent Kambande and the vocational school both work on many projects in
Muramba. They also regularly maintain existing systems. Dedicated project work was
sporadic, but finished after repairs in March 2008.

Figure 7. Completed rainwater catchment.

The water captured by this catchment was intended for all in need of water. Late
in the project, it was learned that the priests of church felt that the water should be used to
clean the church and water the garden. The dispute was never resolved and should be
addressed in later trips.

3.0 BioSand Filter Project

3.1 Project Description

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Our water quality project focused on using simple filtration techniques to purify
water efficiently. BioSand filters are one such way of realizing our goal of cleaner water.
Our team tested water at 17 taps around the CIC and parish. Results were positive for a
strain of E. assesst bacteria on one of these taps. To ameliorate the problem, the team
implemented the following BioSand filter design and placed it next to the contaminated
tap at the Vocational School.
The materials used for this filter included one blue 250L drum, five feet of one
inch diameter PVC tubing, three right angle PVC connectors, PVC glue, a few cubic
inches of foam material and a tear drop water tap. All materials needed for BioSand
filtration can be found in Rwanda. A more comprehensive list of materials can be found
in Appendix B.

3.2 Design

After the body of the filter is constructed, it is filled with two layers – a rock layer
and a sand layer. The tank is then primed until water reaches 10 cm above the sand layer.
After three weeks, a biological film forms between the top water pool and sand layer. It
is this film that is responsible for killing 99% of pathogens in the contaminated water.
Once the water passes through the biological film, the sand removes 100% of parasites.
Finally, the rock layer acts as a barrier between the sand and the piping to prevent

Figure 8. Design of BioSand Filter

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3.3 Construction of Beta Version

Construction began by cutting off the lid of a 50 gallon drum with a hacksaw.
From there, a one inch hole was drilled into the drum centered approximately 80 cm up
from the base.
We then constructed from the PVC a right angled piece to transport the water
from the base of the filter out through the water tap (refer to drawing). The piece that
spanned the bottom was drilled many times in order to make it permeable. A piece of
foam was then placed in the end of the pipe. All joints in the piece were cemented
together with PVC glue.
The bottom 20 cm of the tank were filled with gravel obtained from a local
quarry. Each piece of gravel was approximately 1 cm in diameter and needed to be
washed. Buckets of gravel were rinsed with water repeatedly until the water being
poured out was completely clear. Laundry detergent was used, which seemed to be of
great help.
Next, 50 cm of sand was placed on top of the 20 cm of gravel. The entire volume
of sand also needed to be washed and this was by far the most tedious process.
Fortunately, many of the villagers helped with this daunting task.
To clean the sand, small volumes of sand were placed in buckets and rinsed
repeatedly until the resulting water being poured out was completely clear. Rinsing
involved adding about half of a liter of sand to a bucket, then adding water. The water
sand mixture would be rapidly stirred by hand for 15 seconds and then the water would
be poured out. The aim was to use the sand particles that fell out of solution within one
second. All in all, each bucket took about 20-30 rinses to become clean.
Finally, a dispersion plate was constructed from lid of the drum. Holes were
drilled in the lid to disperse the force of water being added to the filter. This was done to
prevent the biological layer from being destroyed. The dispersion plate was supported by
three pieces of 1” PVC placed directly into the sand. Within three flushes of the system,
the water exiting was completely clear, rendering the project a success.

3.4 Future BioSand Filters & Placement of Filters

BioSand filters have a promising future because of both their simplicity of
construction and their effectiveness. By providing detailed instructions, we hope to
make these documents useful to future groups who wish to install these filters. Please use
this report along with the BioSand filter construction report as a foundation for future
work in this area.
The design that we implemented is by no means perfect. The design should be
tested for faults and improved on. We hope that future groups will take on the challenge
of improving the performance and labor costs of making these filters.
It is a very good idea to make a model. The testing resources at UW-Madison are
numerous. Knowledgeable faculty or mentors can make this process much easier with

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their advice and insight. Before building a model, always remember that materials take
up space and storage room is sparse. Models on paper or in a computer program should
always be done first in order to work out the details of the design and construction. There
is a great potential in BioSand filters, but much work must also be done to further this
appropriate and sustainability centered design.
Most importantly, BioSand filters should be placed in proximity to the
contaminated sources, as they are too heavy to move after construction.

3.5 Water Testing Report and Filter Construction Guide

Water testing gave the group greater insight into the state of water quality at the
tested taps. Our results show that all but one of the taps yielded clean water. We placed
the BioSand filter near the contaminated tap, rendering this water potable.
It should be noted that only taps within a short walking distance from the CIC
were tested. More comprehensive water testing should be done in Muramba, and if
necessary, BioSand filters should be constructed to improve drinking water quality.
Two reports will aid future EWB-UW groups in Muramba implement BioSand
filter: the water testing report and the BioSand filter construction guide. Please contact
Jonathan Lee for these two reports (

4.0 Continuing Support of Fuel Briquetting Initiative

4.1 Project Description

To alleviate use of firewood by local Murambans, fuel briquetting has been
investigated as an alternative, sustainable energy source for cooking and heating. Fuel
briquetting uses excess biomass from local farms, and through a process of
decomposition, mixing, and pressing, forms this biomass into donut shaped briquettes.
The process and method of fuel briquetting was developed by the legacy foundation and
has been shown to be successful in developing communities. As a method of introducing
the technology, initially it was planned for entrepreneurial Murambans to utilize
briquetting as a form of alternative fuel for members of the cooperative and possible
additional revenue, though has not been successful. EWB-UW Rwanda’s task was to
figure out why the process has not taken hold, suggest solutions, and appoint a local
Muramban to be in charge of continued fuel briquetting.

4.2 Fuel Briquetting Status in Muramba

A fuel briquetting cooperative of about eight members had been formed in
Muramba after EWB-UW introduced the process of fuel briquetting in July 2005. The
cooperative gathered irregularly at the local vocational school (what is the proper name?)

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until the summer of 2006. It was around this time that they decided that the effort of
making fuel briquettes outweighed the benefits; their briquetting efforts ended.
Initially, the fuel briquetting cooperative formed out of interest of the process and
the potential for income and was located at the vocational school. Storage space was
provided by the school for the presses, along with tools for fuel briquetting. The
vocational school also provided a location for these co-op members to meet, discuss
techniques and cooperative matters, and to produce briquettes.
Upon investigating the situation in Muramba, EWB-UW learned that the group
had a well-formed knowledge of the mechanics behind the pressing and shaping of fuel
briquettes. Construction practices at the school were very good, though quality tools were
lacking. Their understanding and application of the fuel briqetting process is impressive.
The ability to duplicate fuel briquette presses was exemplified through the example of a
student final exam at the vocational school. The task was to construct a fuel briquette
press, similar to one produced during a collaborative project involving vocational
students and EWB-UW in July 2005. This assignment produced the three additional
presses, and provided students not only learn the construction skills needed to build the
press, but also form an understanding of the mechanics behind pressing fuel briquettes.
During the assessment of the current state of fuel briquetting in Muramba, two of
the presses were found to be in a weakened state due to deterioration of their wooden
members, but the remaining two were deemed to be in functioning order. The presses
were in a storage locker at the vocational school where heat, humidity, and carpenter ants
were the sources of the decaying wooden members. It was recommended to the co-op
that the presses should be coated with a layer of used motor oil in order to protect the
wood from degradation due to weathering and insects.
One practice invented by the fuel briquetting coop can be pointed to as an
indication of not only the knowledge of properly shaping briquettes but also creativity in
problem solving. This is multi-briquette pressing, which greatly increases efficiency in
pressing relatively dense briquetting materials, such as sawdust. As shown in Image 1,
disk separators were used to produce up to four or five briquettes at once. To achieve this,
a metal rod was aligned in the center of the PVC cylinder. A tin separator (or “DVD” as
Patrice called them) was dropped into place to support the bottom briquette. Biomass was
then loaded into the PVC mold. Once the correct amount of biomass for one briquette had
been placed inside the mold, another separator was placed on top of the biomass to
separate it from the next layer of biomass. This process was repeated about four times.
This practice differed from the pressing practice of both the Legacy Foundation and
EWB-UW where only one briquette was produced at a single time.

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Figure 9. Tin Separator (“DVD”)

Briquettes already produced by the cooperative were made from paper and
sawdust, with mixtures ranging from primarily paper to primarily sawdust. These
briquettes were usually between 2 and 3 inches in height with the diameter being formed
by the inside of a 4” diameter PVC pipe. Although the cooperative had already pressed
hundreds of these briquettes, no stoves in Muramba allow for proper use of them and they
were stored in a storage closet at the vocational school. It was reported that the average
home in Muramba cooks by supporting a pot with three stones and burning firewood
underneath. Cooking with a briquette would require raising the briquette off of the
ground in order to achieve the “chimney effect,” in which air is brought through the
bottom of the briquette and it burns outward from the center. It is also desired to improve
efficiency of the energy use via insulation surrounding the burning briquette.

4.3 In-Country Research

To test the burning quality of the briquettes owned by the cooperative and stored
at the vocational school, a test stove was produced from a vegetable oil tin can. The need
for this test stove was due to lack of a stove able to function with fuel briquettes. The oil
can contained a hole on at its base which was a similar size to the center hole of a fuel
briquette. The top end of the can was removed, and additional holes were cut on the
bottom of the can to allow additional airflow. The can was then set on a few bricks in
order for air to flow into the bottom. Initially, the tin can was not insulated. Later,
experiments were conducted; one such experiment included the addition of clay to the
outside of the can to insulate it containing more of the heat.
The first tests performed on burning the existing cooperative briquettes were on
sawdust-heavy briquettes. These briquettes were very dense and thought to have a high
moisture level due to being stored in a humid closet at the cooperative. This was
evidenced by the difficulty in igniting the dense briquettes, and a smoky burn. The initial
briquettes took between five and ten minutes to light, though burn duration was close to

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an hour. Eight of the sawdust briquettes were placed in the sun to dry for a period of 2
days. These briquettes were noticed to be lighter after drying, and were more easily
ignited. It should be noted that the sawdust briquettes did not perform well. More notably,
sawdust, if used at all, should be considered a binding element in other mix designs.
Other ideas for improving the burning qualities of the fuel briquettes included increasing
the surface area of the briquettes by making them shorter in height and increasing the
number of holes.
One of the most pressing issues of fuel briquetting is creating a proper mix
design. Improvements sought with mix design would be to create a briquette that can be
ignited easier allow for a higher temperature burn, and increase the percentage of local
biomass used in the mix. These improvements need to be sought while keeping a
briquette that is sturdy and distributable. We performed a number of mix tests to find
samples of local plants and foliage that would work well together. (Need to find the data
and results that I had in my field notebook. Have pictures. Need to write down how the
tests were administered.)

Figure 10. Briquettes used in Mix Design Tests

To work with the cooperative on mix-designs, additional biomass materials were
collected to begin the composting process. First, a bean material similar to sorghum was
collected from the convent kitchen and shredded, and later banana and eucalyptus leaves
were collected from local farms. For the initial shredding of these materials, the bean
material was cut with scissors while the leaves were found to be dry enough to crumble
upon squeezing in the hand. These shredded materials were then saturated with water
and placed in a tarp located in directed sunlight to begin the composting process as it was
explained to the cooperative the importance of this step in material preparation.

Fuel Briquetting Mix Combinations
1) Bean Husks & ‘Sawdust and Paper’
2) Eucalyptus & ‘Sawdust and Paper’
3) Banana Leaves & ‘Sawdust and Paper’

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4) Bean Husks, Banana Leaves,
Eucalyptus, & ‘Sawdust and Paper’
5) Bean Husks and Eucalyptus
6) Banana Leaves & Eucalyptus
7) Banana Leaves & Bean Husks

Figure 11. Close-up views of the different fuel briquette mix designs

Note: All mixes listed in the table were combined together in equal proportions. Ex. Mix 4
has 25% of each individual ingredient.
Results describing the durability and preparation of the briquettes were the only
ones recorded during our short time there along with mix combinations listed in the table
above. Briquette burning tests should be conducted. A study like this will further fuel
briquetting’s standing in the community if it can show positive results not only in the
research lab, but also in the field.
The durability of each briquette can be seen in the table below. A rating of one has
the weakest durability while a rating a five has the strongest.

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Mix Number Durability Rating
1) Bean Husks & ‘Sawdust and Paper’ 4
2) Eucalyptus & ‘Sawdust and Paper’ 2
3) Banana Leaves & ‘Sawdust and Paper’ 1
4) Bean Husks, Banana Leaves, 4
Eucalyptus, & ‘Sawdust and Paper’
5) Bean Husks and Eucalyptus 1
6) Banana Leaves & Eucalyptus 3
7) Banana Leaves & Bean Husks 3

One important conclusion involves binding of the briquettes. During preparation,
it was noticed that sawdust and paper were essential to production when unprocessed
agricultural materials were introduced. These two ingredients act as a glue to hold
together agricultural biomass.
Fuel Briquetting Update: As of February 2008, fuel briquetting in Muramba was
taken on a great dynamic. Patrice had been gathering people for workshops regularly
since the team had left. They are currently making briquettes out of various mixtures and
through trial and error coming to a mix that suits their needs.
Future team interested in fuel briquetting could take up the task of burn tests of
these briquettes in-country. As a goal, this theoretical team could present new mix ideas
and methods. Continued support of fuel briquetting in Muramba solidifies the project.
This support materializes itself in the form of research by Murambans in the area of fuel
briquetting even after an EWB team leaves.

4.4 Vocational School, Community Participation, & Sustainability

Local opinion of the fuel briquetting technology was high, with an interest shown
by locals passing by who were able to speak with Patrice as they watched the pressing
process. Most were impressed, saying that more practical projects like this were needed.
If there is one thing between both cultures that stays constant, it is the excitement that the
‘new and improved’ brings to life. Many of the passersby stayed to watch the process.
One even asked if he could meet with Patrice later to learn about fuel briquetting. This is
exactly how technology diffusion should take place. The right process can be taught to
contacts that EWB makes, and these contacts, trusted by other Murambans, will pass the
skills on or form a group to profit from the new skill.
Patrice also reported that the vocational school became uninterested in fuel
briquetting because the briquettes did not burn. The vocational school was using a
sawdust and paper mix, which because of its density burned inadequately. Patrice went
further; saying that research into fuel briquettes did not take place only a mimicking of
press technology and a using of non-biomass combustible materials. Research could be

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fostered at the school through French fuel briquetting documentation, the introduction of
a fuel briquetting class at the vocational school, and an update of the tools used at the
school. A partner company in the US may be willing to fund the purchase of new tools by
the vocational school.

4.5 Potential Fuel Briquetting Research and Support

One obstacle preventing a fuel briquetting cooperative from functioning in
Muramba is that the average household stove is not able to use the briquettes. A small
stove similar to an insulated tin can test stove could be used, but is small for the purpose
of cooking and un-insulated. Alternatively, a screen can be used to raise the briquettes
from the ground to allow the chimney effect, though this is still somewhat inefficient.
Ideally, one clay stove suitable for both briquettes and firewood could be developed for
use in the average home.
Along with a stove, a cooperative would require an increase in production beyond
what is capable with the spare sawdust material. Experimentation could be done with
additional biomass materials to find mix designs with superior burning characteristics
such as burn duration, temperature, and smokiness. Increased production would also
require additional gathering of biomass materials, increased composting area, and
possibly more presses or workers to produce briquettes. Use of the Penagos Hermanos
PP7M would facilitate a large increase in capacity for shredding biomass. This biomass
shredder was purchased with funds from the WEC Foundation by EWB-UW.

Figure 12. Penagos Hermanos PP7M

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Lastly, a fuel briquetting cooperative would require much organization and
planning to achieve stability in the market. In order to gain confidence in the use of fuel
briquettes as a replacement for firewood, additional research in both the technology and
market acceptance of briquettes is necessary. One possibility of market introduction
would be to give free initial samples to some potential users. The planning of the
cooperative, including how many members are to be included, along with the cost of the
briquettes required to sustain the cooperative must be tabulated.
Development of fuel briquetting technology is an excellent example of
information and knowledge diffusion at work. This technology shows promise as an
alternative to the increasingly costly firewood needed for cooking on a day to day basis.
Press construction documentation, originally produced by the Legacy Foundation, has
been left to vocational school professors after the 2005 implementation trip. For more
information, please go to for more information about the Legacy
Foundation and fuel briquetting.

5.0 Film Documentary

5.1 Documentary Description and Focus

EWB-UW felt it was important to bring awareness of our mission to our
community, to show Muramba, Rwanda to a greater audience, and record our work in the
village. This documentary, when complete, will provide a resource to not only our own
EWB chapter, but also our University, local, and state communities, and hopefully to our
nation as well.
The medium of film allows the sounds and images of another culture to take a
tangible form. This is something that neither words on a page, nor pictures in a magazine
can explain. Working together over the last five years has allowed the Rwanda group at
UW-Madison and the Muramban people to interact in a very unique way. Hand-in-hand,
technical and environmental information has been relayed back and forth between our
two groups. Through our continued commitment to implement appropriate technologies
with the support of the village, we will travel back to Muramba whenever we are so able.

5.2 Funding

The Wisconsin Energy Corporation Foundation granted the documentary film
project money for necessary supplies, production travel, and post-production expenses.
This very generous gift was very appreciated. The final product will be completed by the
beginning of spring 2008. A ten to twenty minute film will then be presented to the WEC
Foundation and later will be shown at the EWB-UW 2008 banquet.

5.3 Documentary Utilization

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It is our desire to bring back to Madison, and more broadly, Wisconsin, the story
that represents our environmental collaboration with Muramba. We hope to use this film
as an educational as well as a promotional tool. Along with a partnership with the African
Studies program at UW-Madison, we hope to show this film to students of the university,
as well as grade school students and parents of the local Madison community. As a
promotional tool, the film would be shown at annual EWB-UW kick-off meetings to
encourage membership. It is also hoped, although this maybe a reach, that the film could
be played at international film festivals in Wisconsin as a highlight of the state’s film
expertise and international cooperation. With this vision in mind for the film’s many uses,
we hope to tell our story of collaboration on issues that regard the local environment as
well as the quality of life of the people of Muramba.
For more information on the current status of the documentary, please email
Jonathan Lee (

6.0 Safety

6.1 Roof Collapse Accident

The roof of the church posed a great problem for the rainwater catchment project.
Standing high above the ground, its area was quite large and its cleanliness quite suspect.
Roof inspection resulted in the worry that mold, spores, and debris could wash off the
roof and into the collection tank via the gutters. After thorough discussion with the priests
of the church and Innocent Kambande, the decision was made to clean the roof of the
church from one meter before its limit to its end.
Many vocational students desired this job since we were willing to pay them for
their labor. Father Bernard choose one of the smaller students, Jean Baptiste, to climb the
aluminum ladder we purchased in Kigali. One other student would also stand at the
bottom, holding the ladder.
The next day the job was completed. This relatively small segment of the church’s
roof was cleaned very well. The priests then wished after seeing these results to clean the
entire roof. Another student was found to help the first in the task, and we decided to go
ahead with the larger cleaning job. Innocent Kambande instructed the students to sit on a
wood board, and always keep their bodies close to the roof and over the roof joists that
could be identified by small bolts protruding in straight lines from the top of the roof to
the gutters.

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Figure 13. Muramba’s Church with roof cleaners

It was in the afternoon on the next day that Jean Baptiste fell through the roof.
One of the roof sections in the middle of the joists had given way, and on it he fell. He
descended about 20 feet onto pews in the church, which broke the roof section into many
pieces. After driving him to the hospital, we learned that he had broken both wrists, lost
three teeth, and cracked his big toe on the left foot.

Figure 13. The Panel Jean Baptiste fell through

Blame should not be placed on any one person or group because many decisions
lead to this event. What should be said is that safety must never be overlooked.
Precautions should be made for extreme circumstances, and whenever work is to be done,
a short safety meeting (tailgate meeting) should be convened at the beginning of every

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workday to allow for complete enforcement of all safety measures. Work for the day
should never begin without this meeting.
Update on Jean Baptiste: Before the team had left Muramba, money had been
gathered to donate to him to pay for his vocational school term expenses. As of February
2008, Jean Baptiste was reported to be in good health. His broken bones healed and he
was thankful of the support of his family, friends, and EWB after the incident occurred.

6.2 Safety: The Greatest Priority

Safety is the greatest priority for all EWB groups. Beyond all talk about
sustainability, appropriate design, travel, or anything else, all groups and affiliates should
always be safe during all travel and work.
Remember that there is no OSHA in Rwanda. We must act as our own safety
inspectors at all times. It is imperative that all members traveling, and all individuals that
we work with, stay out of harms way. During the planning of future EWB trips, make
safety a much-deliberated point. Look to current OSHA rules and regulations to gain
safety knowledge.

7.0 Financing

7.1 Funding Sources

In order for international projects to fulfill its goals, funding must be procured
from numerous sources. For this implementation trip, three financial starting points
granted our group money to continue our collaborative, volunteer work in Muramba: The
Associated Students of Madison, International Rotary Club of Madison, and the
Wisconsin Energy Corporation Foundation.
Grants from the Associated Students of Madison covered international travel and
travel expenses in-country. In the past, students have paid for international travel. EWB-
UW strives for project sustainability and the cost of international travel traditionally has
been a very large stumbling block. With this new relationship with ASM, EWB-UW will
continue to reduce this project cost at least partially, if not completely.
The International Rotary Club of Madison bestowed onto EWB-UW a grant for
continued water projects in Muramba. During this implementation trip, we used these
available funds to purchase materials for the rainwater catchment and BioSand filter
The Wisconsin Energy Corporation Foundation’s gift sponsored the film
documentary work in Rwanda. Their award made possible the recording of video and
sound that will continue to teach and inspire future students, parents, activists, and both
young and old to be the change they wish to see in the world.

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Thank you to all our sponsors!

7.2 Simplified Comprehensive Budget

Simplified Comprehensive Budget

Rwandan Francs US Dollars
Lodging Kigali 320100 $589.47
Water and Food 229900 $423.32
Transportation 803717 $1344.48
Lodging Muramba 795304 $1464
Converting Money 106971 $197
International Travel 6516000 $12000
Water Projects 2139055 $3939.23
Film Project* 4887000 $9000
Total 15798047 $28957.50
* Includes International Travel for Two Filmmakers

Detailed budgets can be found in Appendix C of this report.

8.0 Future EWB-UW Involvement

8.1 Lessons Learned and Future Evaluations

For the EWB-UW Rwanda group, the trip of 2007 was a learning experiment.
This is said due to the fact that the fundamental values of the group were strained and re-
examined. Mistakes were made and lessons were learned. The group benefited from the
work done in 2007 and believes that future projects will garner better outcomes through
the energies of past members. Below is a list of advice assembled for future group
members to keep in mind:

1.Involve mentors and faculty advisors to support project implementation and problem
2. Gain financial backing to support projects with material needs. Make sure each
project has a budget to work with.
3. Keep safety in mind at all times when making decisions.
4. Divide the group up into teams working on individual projects. Focus in this way
will give better results. However, when posed with a difficult problem group
collaboration helps.

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5. Always take a detailed assessment trip before an implementation trip. On
assessment trips, take data, pictures, quotes, dimensions, etc. Testing data can later be
used in grant writing to solidify a project’s viability.
6. Think of the vocational school as a construction company, and EWB as the
construction managers.
7. Think low-tech, high-impact. High technology is not always the most appropriate
8. Leave documentation of technologies in English and French. Maintenance is largely
left up to only a couple of village technicians. Leaving documentation will assist them
in maintaining the systems.
9. Technology diffusion is active in all communities. Remember that the projects stay
in Rwanda for all to see, and for curios technicians and students to use, discuss, and
10. All parties teach and learn together.
11. Communication is key. Bring a French interpreter.
12. In the field, bring two-way radios to stay in contact.

8.2 Changes in Project Methodology

Turnover can be great in the university setting. Graduation, study abroad, and
change in interest from one student organization to the next can all affect group
dynamics. For this reason, teams must follow basic plans during each project to gain
knowledge of problems in the village and then design solutions to implement. For the
project undertaken in July 2007, an assessment trip was not taken. While this was
overcome in creative ways, it took away from the overall effectiveness of the project.
EWB groups should always make sure to take an assessment trip before an
implementation trip. Even if previous trips have been taken to gather data for other
projects, make contacts, and implement projects, these individuals of past projects may
have moved on to other work. It is necessary to build a group that is not only
knowledgeable in a certain engineering, science, or related subject, but also comfortable
with the village life, familiar with the contacts, and have traveled to the village to learn,
study, and take data relating to the problem at hand.

8.3 Translate the Experience

Traveling to Rwanda is a very unique experience. There have only been a few
EWB-UW trips to the country, so being part of a team to make the journey is a rare and
rewarding opportunity. Our memories shouldn’t be left to ourselves. Take the time to talk
with friends and family about the experience. Discuss the problems and solutions. Relate
the values of EWB to how we live today. Ask questions, talk about answers.
EWB-UW is supported by Wisconsin. Ask friends and family to help support the
projects we travel so far to collaborate on. Our collaboration embodies the spirit of the
Wisconsin Idea; that education should influence and improve people’s lives beyond the

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university classroom. Our education should have no borders. Donations can be made
online at

8.4 Next Phase and Ideas for Projects

Exciting progress can still be made in Muramba. Teams arriving back in the US
while exhausted are brimming with ideas for the future. Below is a list of ideas for future
projects that have been brainstormed or have been realized through community leader

A New Road - All groups enter Muramba from the same road, and its inadequacies are
obvious. Local leaders feel that the extremely poor road is the major obstacle to further
economic development. While a complete overhaul and repaving of the road may be out
of the scope of an EWB student group, projects in rock removal and crushing could result
in portions of the road being changed into a smoother, compacted-gravel surface. Mentor
experience in road construction would be needed.

Stove Design - Fuel briquetting, coupled with better stoves could reduce the amount of
air pollution indoors, along with alleviating the need for firewood, which becomes
increasingly scarce. Improved stoves may help by cutting family expenses, and creating
a healthier living environment in the house. Designs currently being investigated include
a clay stove which burns firewood in a more efficient manner with insulation and
includes a chimney to vent smoke outdoors. An alternative design is one which uses
pyrolysis to gasify biomass before adding oxygen and burning to achieve higher
temperatures and efficiencies. This technology would be compatible with both firewood
and fuel briquettes.

Biogas Kitchen Funding - The College of the Immaculate Conception currently uses
wood to cook the food for the 600 girls who attend. The wood costs them 6,000,000
Rwandan Francs or $11,049.72 per year out of an overall College operating budget of
about $60,000, which is about 18.4% of their budget. The installation of a biogas system
would cut the expense of wood altogether leaving much more of the operating budget to
be used to better the learning experience. The Kigali Institute of Science and Technology
(KIST) has designed and constructed over six of the systems in Rwanda, and no design is
needed on the part of EWB-UW. The College has asked only for financial assistance in
the project.

Solar Panel Installation, Documentation, and Workshopping - A few solar panels
already exist in Muramba. These are primarily used to power a few computers used by
the headmaster of the College, the parish priests, and the headmaster of the Saint Maria
Goretti Elementary School. Future solar panel installation should include workshops
open to those responsible for the panel’s upkeep, and documentation in french to be left
with workshop members as a reference. Solar panels can be installed for indoor lighting

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of libraries,study areas, and power computers among other uses. The College would
greatly benefit because it currently uses a diesel generator to run lights from 6-9 PM
every day when classes are in session.

Encouragement of Creativity - One Muramban asked us, “How have you become so
creative with your projects?” Looking beyond the actions to the reasons behind our work
sparked by this interesting question made our group search for rationale to why we
volunteer our time to these projects. One avenue to an answer rests with the need for a
creative outlet. Most of EWB-UW’s members are engineers who grew up drawing,
constructing, and modeling. Creativity can be encouraged in many ways. With so many
children and students in Muramba, encouraging creativity will lead to young adults better
prepared to answer problems with innovative, new ideas or change current establishments
to work more efficiently. One idea: Legos in the classroom.

Collaboration with the World Changers - The World Changers is a student organization
at the CIC. With their own unique ideas to help Muramba, the World Changers and EWB-
UW could potentially participate together on great projects. Tutoring or Big Sister
programs with the local orphanage are ideas that have been discussed.

Introduction of a Jerry Can Cleaning Program - The largest water quality issue in
Muramba resides in ever jerry can. The jerry cans used in Muramba are rarely clean, and
while the water from the taps is relatively clean, it becomes polluted when left in a jerry
can. Large scale testing of jerry cans should be conducted to identify pathogens. Then, an
appropriate solution could be devised. Contacts should be made at UW-Madison for those
with pathogen testing experience. Data could later be used in grant writing to acquire

Past Project Assessments - Work on projects continues after the EWB teams depart from
the country. We work in collaboration on the projects first design back in the computer
labs in Wisconsin. Project construction schedules are longer than the time we have in
country. Next phase projects should include assessments and in-country discussions of
past projects to those Rwandans who oversee them.

Microfinance - Work with a micro-financing company like FINCA (
to setup a microloans program in Muramba. Small businesses and entrepreneurs will
benefit, and technologies that might flounder without financial assistance may be able to
stand on their feet and grow.

Partnership with a Tool Company - The vocational school is in need of new tools. A US
tool company may be willing to fund the purchase of new tools as a part of their
community outreach.

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9.0 Acknowledgements
For their contribution and support throughout this endeavor, the project team
would like to acknowledge the following individuals: Brad Hotle, Julia Wagner, and John
Kenney for their work on fuel briquetting and water filtering; Allison Taylor for her
written and conversational French translation; John Lee for his work in project
management; Tim Miller for his in-country assessments, guidance, leadership, and
friendship; Joe Sacco and Zack Hagan for their video and sound expertise in film
documentation; Robert Metcalfe at the University of California at Santa Barbara for
water testing equipment; other EWB - UW-Madison students who helped make the trip a
reality but were unable to travel to Muramba; Peter Bosscher for inspiring us to change
the world one village at a time; Perry Cabot for advising us on rainwater catchment work;
Laura Grossenbacher for documentation advising; Muramba Parish and College for food,
shelter, and conversation; Jean Paul Basansanga for leading English-Kinyarwanda
translation duties; Peter Muligo for driving and country expertise; the vocational school
for help on the rainwater catchment, fuel briquetting, and BioSand filter projects, and
finally the people of Muramba for welcoming the team with open arms. Final thanks are
for our sponsors: Downtown Madison Rotary Club, Wisconsin Energy Corporation
Foundation, The Associated Students of Madison, various private donors, and the
University of Wisconsin Madison along with the College of Engineering’s continued

10.0 Memorial - Peter Bosscher

“A hero is a man who does what he can.”

Peter Bosscher is a hero. It was his vision, his leadership, and his courage that
allowed the Engineers Without Borders student organization at UW-Madison to grow and

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thrive. Peter’s positive attitude was infectious. His students loved him, his peers
respected him, and the countless people he helped revered him for his good works. In
spite of Peter’s untimely passing in 2007, his legacy remains.
Peter’s faith afforded him the courage to tackle some of the world’s greatest
challenges: lifting communities in Asia, Africa and South America out of crippling
poverty, bringing water to people suffering of thirst, bringing hope to the hopeless. His
optimistic outlook and love for life touched all those who had the great fortune to work
with him. He will not be forgotten, at his home, in the places he worked, in the people he
He had a philosophy of planting seeds, seeds that would blossom into bright
leaders, seeds that would grow into righteous living, seeds that would bear fruit for future
generations. Peter taught sustainability, for he believed that we all have obligations not
only for our own generation, but for many generations to come. It is only fitting that his
work is sustained.
What started as a small ripple of hope, a twinkle in Peter’s eye, has manifested
itself time and again in the students who worked with him in Engineers Without Borders.
From 2004 to 2007, Peter’s commitment to Engineers Without Borders enabled nearly 50
students at UW-Madison to travel the world in an effort to help the world’s poorest
communities. Students continue to benefit from the foundation Peter laid as the UW-
Madison chapter of Engineers Without Borders continues to expand into other developing
communities throughout the world.
It is with the greatest reverence and respect for Peter and his work that we
dedicate this project to Peter’s memory. May his light continue to shine, now and forever.

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EWB-UW: Muramba, Rwanda Phase III 1/1/08

Appendix A Site Assessment Information

A site assessment was performed by Tim Miller in April 2007 below are excepts of
the report he submitted to the Rwanda team. Information presented in this report assisted
in project design and planning.

Excepts being here:

“Muramba remains a community in need. Despite positive contributions by
Engineers Without Borders implementation teams in the past three years, many
Murambans still struggle to meet their basic needs on a daily basis. Projects focused on
rainwater catchment, solar panel installation, water purification and water supply have
proven beneficial to the community, though the extent of these benefits is often limited to
a select group of individuals. The community at large, and specifically in the Gatega
sector, experience the effects of crushing poverty daily. Future work by EWB teams in
Muramba should focus on meeting the needs of the broader community.
With the absence of Fr. John Bosco MUSINGUZI, other individuals must handle
much of the logistical coordination between Muramba and EWB. I have taken it upon
myself to help facilitate EWB-UW’s project implementation during the summer of 2007,
but future logistical coordination between EWB teams and Muramba remains uncertain at
this time. In May or June of 2007, EWB-CU plans to send a team to Muramba to help
define a management structure for future EWB projects. This structure will likely
involve leaders from CIC-Muramba, Muramba Parish, and other stakeholders in and
around Muramba that will oversee project coordination, though the exact details are to be
determined. EWB-Rwanda is also planning its organizational structure and will likely
play a critical role in helping to coordinate future projects in Rwanda.
It seems that one of the greatest needs in Muramba is securing gainful employment
for its residents. In general, people seek to make a living wage. This is difficult in
Muramba, which is fairly isolated from outside markets due to poor roads leading to and
from the community. The majority of residents engage in subsistence agriculture, though
many engage in secondary forms of employment. Morale remains high and people are
willing to work, but opportunities for employment are limited. In my opinion, projects
aimed at providing additional sources of income to residents or efforts that promote
entrepreneurship and small business incubation would be very beneficial to this
It may be helpful to review past project reports before proceeding with project design
and planning. EWB-UW’s 2005 Summary Report and a number of reports from CU-
Boulder may help clarify the ongoing need in Muramba. Specifically, the community
survey in the EWB-UW 2005 Summary Report provides a good indication of the general
need within the community.

2. Potential Projects (for summer 2007)

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a. Rainwater Catchment & Playpump Installation at Muramba Parish Church

The goal of this project is to implement a rainwater catchment and storage system at
Muramba Parish church. In addition, a playpump may be used to pump water to
additional storage units. Similar rainwater harvesting projects have been completed with
success at the CIC-Muramba compound and at the St. Charles Lwanga Vocational
Training Center. The advantage of putting the playpump and catchment system at the
church is that the church is a center for community life, with several thousand residents
attending services on Sundays. Many people pass by the church on a daily basis,
including children, so the pumping possibility is impressive. The church has a large roof
area, so collecting water would be rather easy. Implementing a system here would
provide residents with a convenient source of water throughout the week and serve as a
model for others to implement at other places of business or residential homes.
While catchment and storage systems have been implemented with success, the
playpump has not been previously implemented. It is possible that residents of Muramba
could install gutters, piping and reservoirs without EWB’s assistance, but only if EWB
provides the necessary materials. However, the construction of the playpump should be
carried out with residents of Muramba as well as EWB team members. The physical
proximity of the church to the existing water tower is an issue, as the structures are
separated by about 100m. Ideally, the playpump should be situated as close to the point of
collection and storage facility as possible. If water were to be harvested at the church, it
may be better to construct or purchase an additional storage reservoir closer to the point
of collection or closer to the playpump. Afritank is a primary manufacturer of plastic
tanks in Rwanda. The CU-Boulder team should have specifics about purchasing and
constructing such a system. Undoubtedly, building or purchasing an additional reservoir
will raise project costs, but it may be difficult to retrofit the existing water tower with
another input pipe from the playpump. The pumping capacity of the playpump may also
limit the distance water can be pumped; the 100m separation distance may push the limits
of the playpump system.
I have drafted a rough sketch of the church roof in AutoCAD. The geometry of the
roof may necessitate installing two reservoirs at separate locations. Further study is
needed to determine the number, size, and placement of reservoirs. Additional research is
needed to determine the location for the playpump and which reservoirs it will feed. The
preliminary drawing can be found on the following page. I will also send this document
as an AutoCAD file in .dwg format. A more detailed assessment will be completed at the
request of EWB-UW.

b. Fuel Briquetting
The fuel briquetting project is currently at a standstill. While the project
was initiated in 2005, community members quickly lost interest because they could
not develop a good mix design. Good science will drive the project, and other issues
such as ownership of capital items (i.e. briquette press, fodder chopper, etc.), location
for composting, business incubation and entrepreneurship will manifest only after a

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successful mix design is demonstrated. Thus, the critical component of this project is
the mix design. The ability to produce briquettes that are a viable alternative to wood
as a fuel will lend itself to other facets of the project. If the community recognizes
that briquettes are a viable alternative to wood, there will be increased interest in the
technology. The briquettes will not be used if they do not burn well, and people will
use the briquettes only if they work as well or better than wood.

My initial reaction is to introduce the technology at the vocational school.
They have human resources (students) and space available, if needed. The students
attending this school are not able to afford other forms of higher education, so they
come to this school to get a ‘leg-up’ and practical experience in mechanics, plumbing,
carpentry, and so forth. If the students can develop this project more fully, they may
empower themselves to start their own small businesses and companies. I think the
students at this school would benefit from this project because it encourages a spirit
of cooperation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship. Some funding may be available
through the vocational school as well.

Establishing a fuel briquetting cooperative may also be possible. A
number of cooperatives already exist within Muramba, so it may be possible to
incorporate fuel briquetting into the fabric of an existing cooperative. However, I
think the organization of such a cooperative can only begin once an effective mix
design has been produced. The logistics of designing the mix, constructing the press,
constructing/operating the fodder chopper and selling the product is streamlined if
there is a single entity or group of people to carry out the entire process. The Kigali
Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) may have access to choppers of different
sorts, and the National University of Rwanda - Butare (NUR) has successfully
completed community-training workshops in other areas.
The success of this project, then, depends on working with KIST and NUR
on developing community training workshops for vocational students and
cooperatives; establishing a mix design based on available resources such as banana
leaves, organic rubbish (potato peelings, banana peels, bean casings, etc); and
determining an operational structure for the industry. The possibilities for this project
are great, but the community needs sound science and encouragement to develop the
project fully.

c. Jerry Can Cleaning and Education Program

Water quality remains an issue for most people in Muramba. While some
community members have the means to boil water before consuming, most do not.
The preferred method to transport water is by jerry can. Even if water is free of
contamination at the source of collection, contamination may occur within the jerry
cans. My observation has been that jerry cans are almost always in use, either as
transport vessels or storage vessels. Most people, it seems, use whatever containers

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are available, including containers other than jerry cans. From the 2005 EWB-UW
summary report:

“9 out of 10 households visually evaluate the water to determine if it is
suitable for drinking. Water is deemed unsuitable when it appears cloudy or
dirty and if foreign particles are present. Only one household boiled all of
there drinking water before consumption. Most families are unable to purify
their drinking water due to the high cost of cooking fuel.

I don’t believe jerry cans are allowed to dry, because most containers are either
storing water or carrying water. The exception may be during the night, when the
day’s water supply has been exhausted.

In general, most people understand that poor sanitation and hygiene is
important to health and well-being. Even so, the lack of means to purchase soap and
fuel to boil water reduces the application of this knowledge. As a result, they do not
use them, and over time develop the habit of never using them. Again from the 2005
EWB-UW summary report:

“9 out of 10 households usually washed their hands in a plastic bucket
with only water. The high cost of soap and other cleaning agents was the main reason
why most households could only use water.” I believe children and uneducated
people are at the greatest risk of contracting diseases from contaminated water due to
a lack of formal education regarding sanitation and hygiene and a great exposure to
contaminated sources of water.

I believe there are a few possibilities to mitigate contamination of water by
the transport vessel. Each of these ideas would need to be explored further by EWB-
UW prior to implementation, in conjunction with EWB-Rwanda. Some ideas are:
• Conduct training seminars at area schools, focusing on hand washing, proper
hygiene, and sanitation at water collection points.
• Develop materials to be posted at water collection points. A notice posted at
collection points, translated in French and Kinyarwandan, could reiterate the
need to clean collection vessels, wash hands, and avoid contact with dirty
• Design a system to clean jerry cans and water collection vessels. This could
be as simple as putting a scrub brush near each tap stand with a cleaning
agent. Arrangements could be made with local authorities to replenish
brushes and cleaning agents as needed.

Each of these is a possible solution to the water quality issue. In reality, each of
these ideas is likely insufficient as a stand-alone solution. These ideas are not

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exhaustive, and other methods for conveying the same idea probably exist and are
worth investigating.”

For the report in its full extent please email Jonathan Lee

Appendix B Data

Water Testing Data

Sample Collection 24 Hour 24 Hour Petrifilm E. coli
Date, Time (Tap) Colilert
ID Collected Location ONPG MUG # Blue & Gas + or -
1 7/12/07, 3:30 PM CIC Courtyard Yes - None -
2 7/12/07, 3:40 PM CIC Kitchen X - None -
3 7/12/07, 3:50 PM Vocational School #1 Yes - 1 Blue & Gas +
4 7/14/07, 10:30 AM End of Village #1 Yes No None -
5 7/14/07, 10:45 AM End of Village #2 Yes No None -
6 7/14/07, 11:10 AM Household Yes No None -
7 7/14/07, 11:25 AM Marketplace Yes No None -
8 7/14/07, 11:30 AM Cafe Yes No None -
9 7/14/07, 12:05 PM Esecom School Yes No None -
10 7/14/07, 12:10 PM Esecom Kitchen Yes No None -
11 7/14/07, 12:15 PM Esecom Bathroom Yes No None -
12 7/14/07, 12:25 PM Lower Village Yes No None -
13 7/14/07, 12:38 PM Elementary School Yes No None -
14 7/14/07, 12:40 PM Vocational School #2 Yes Yes None -
15 7/14/07, 12:43 PM Parish Kitchen Yes No None -
16 7/14/07, 12:45 PM Parish Parking Lot Yes Yes None -
17 7/14/07, 12:50 PM Parish Courtyard Yes No None -

Appendix C Material Costs & Other Budget Items

Travel Expense Budget

Travel Expense Rwandan Francs US Dollars
1. Hotel Castel - Kigali 69000 $127.07
2. Water 1200 $2.20

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EWB-UW: Muramba, Rwanda Phase III 1/1/08

3. Fanta 300 $0.55
4. Food and Drink 19800 $36.46
5. Water and Fanta 1450 $2.67
6. Food and Drinks 7850 $14.45
7. Hotel - Gisenyi 10000 $18.41
8. Hotel - Gisenyi 10000 $18.41
9. Hotel Castel 69000 $127.07
10. Food, Drink - New Cactus 39400 $72.55
11. Taxi - Kigali 84500 $155.61
12. Food - Kigali 10000 $18.41
13. Transportation - Muramba to Kigali 50000 $92.08
14. Hotel Castel - Kigali 25000 $46.04
15. Transportation - Kigali 35000 $64.45
16. Food - Kigali 4400 $8.10
17. Food - Kigali 1400 $2.57
18. Food - Kigali 15500 $28.54
19. Taxi - Kigali 2000 $3.68
20. Gas - Madison 29767 $51.82
21. Bus - Gitarama to Kigali 500 $0.92
22. Bus - Gitarama to Kigali 500 $0.92
23. Bus - Gitarama to Kigali 500 $0.92
24. Gas - Kigali 5000 $9.20
25. Truck - Kigali to Muramba 30000 $55.24
26. Gas - Kigali 40000 $73.66
27. Water - Kigali 112500 $207.18
28. Transportation 50000 $92.08
29. Transportation - Kigali to Muramba 81450 $150.00
30. Transportation 50000 $92.08
31. Transportation 8000 $14.73
32. Parking - Kigali 500 $0.92
33. Drinks - Gitarama 4200 $7.73
34. Transportation - Kigali to Muramba 40000 $73.66
35. Material Transportation to Muramba 194000 $357.27

36, Room & Board - CIC 795304 $1464.00
37. Drinks - Kigali 2000 $3.68
38. Rooms - Gisenyi 40000 $73.66
39. Rooms, Drinks - Gisenyi 28100 $51.74
40. Drinks 9900 $18.23
41. Transportation to Kigali 30000 $55.24

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EWB-UW: Muramba, Rwanda Phase III 1/1/08

42. Fee - Traveler’s Checks Purchase 83079 $153.00
43. Fee - Change Checks to RWF 11946 $22.00
44. Fee - Change Checks to USD 11946 $22.00
45. Hotel Castel - Kigali 69000 $127.07
Totals 2183992 $4018.27

Water Project Budget

Expense Rwandan Francs US Dollars
1. Hardware - Sofaru 46000 $84.71
2. Hardware - Sofaru 227400 $418.78
3. Hardware - Sofaru 43000 $79.18
4. 10,000L Afritank 736200 $1355.80
5. Hardware - Home Depot 43858 $80.77
6. Hardware - Home Depot 6173 $11.37
7. Hardware - Ace Hardware 5804 $10.69
8. Hardware - CPQ 283320 $521.76
Plastic Drums 170000 $313.07
10. Gravel 14000 $25.78
11. Stones 50000 $92.08
12. Hardware - UC Boulder 12000 $22.09
13. Cement 199500 $367.40
14. Hardware - CPQ 20400 $37.56
15. Wood 12000 $22.09
16. Wood 3200 $5.89
17. Bricks 15000 $27.62
18. Hardware - CPQ 27000 $49.72
19. PVC 3000 $5.52
20. Labor - Foundation Construction 19000 $34.99
21. Labor - Foundation Construction 50000 $92.08
22. Material Transportation 7500 $13.81
23. Wood 3200 $5.89
24. Material Transportation 70000 $128.91
25. Hardware - Muhirwa 21500 $39.59
26. Labor - Construction Completion 50000 $92.08
Totals 2139055 $3939.23

© 2008 Engineers Without Borders – USA. All Rights Reserved Page 40 of 40

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