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West African Technology, Education, And Reciprocity Implementation In Benin

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Service Learning Projects in Developing Countries

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1362.1 - 14.1362.14



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Paper Authors


Bradley Striebig James Madison University

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Dr. Bradley A. Striebig is an associate professor of Engineering at James Madison University. He has a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Penn State University, where he was the head of the Environmental Technology Group at the Applied research Laboratory. Prior to accepting a position to develop the engineering program at James Madison University, Brad was a faculty member in the Civil Engineering department at Gonzaga University. He has worked on various water projects throughout the US and in Benin and Rwanda.

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Susan Norwood Gonzaga University

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Susan Norwood is a Professor of Nursing at Gonzaga University. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Pacific Lutheran University, a Mastes in Nursing from the University of Washington, and a certificate as a Womes Health Nurse Practitioner from Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Her Doctorate in Educational Leadership is from Gonzaga University. She has been a nurse educator for 23 years and has been teaching at GU since 1991. She has taught a wide variety of courses to both graduate and undergraduate nursing students and has authored several textbooks.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Abstract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ntroduction Benin is a West African country of approximately 8.5 million people, nearly a third of whom lack access to potable water.1 Mortality rates, especially for infants and children in Benin, are much higher than mortality rates in the developed world.2 Centralized water treatment, like we have in the States, is not a feasible option for community drinking water in Benin because it is extremely expensive to construct and maintain. In rural Benin, the primary ways that people obtain clean drinking water are by boiling water or purchasing imported bottled water. Boiling water requires wood and native vegetation, depleting local resources and emitting smoke into households and the atmosphere. Buying bottled water is not a cost-effective, long-term solution for low-income populations. Furthermore, the links between contaminated drinking water, sanitation, and disease are not understood by all of Benin’s population. As a result, most people in Benin drink water that does not meet the standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO). 3,4 The water in much of Benin is contaminated with bacteria and viruses.5 These are the major concerns in Benin drinking water because of their impact on human health. Typhoid fever, amoebic dysentery, schistosomiasis, and cholera are just a few of the diseases spread by contaminated water. Nearly 17 percent of children born in Benin die before the age of five.3 Porto-Novo is a colonial era city with a population of about 250,000 inhabitants.6 The Songhai Center is headquartered in Porto-Novo, the capital of Benin. In a visit to Benin in 2004, Father Nzamujo Godfrey, director of the Songhia Center, stated the need for a low-cost, sustainable Point-of-use drinking water filter. Much of Benin is blessed with access to water through shallow wells or surface waters, however human and animal wastes contaminate the water. While treated water is available in some instance, less than 10 percent of the population has treated water piped into their homes. Bagged and bottled water can be purchased in the marketplace, but this practice is expensive, unsustainable and can sometimes be tampered with, so that the water can unknowingly become contaminated. The preferred treatment technology for the area would be a cost-effective point-of-use technology. For several years, students evaluated point-of-use water filter technologies that would be appropriate for implementation at the Songhai center. The ceramic filter technology was selected for potential implementation. However, the existing mission and capacity of the Songhai Center had to be expanded to properly transfer the technology. The expanded needs in water and its

Striebig, B., & Norwood, S. (2009, June), West African Technology, Education, And Reciprocity Implementation In Benin Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4537

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