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Las Vegas Professional Chapter
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General Description

The mission of the program is the development of a partnership between DIVOG and the Las Vegas Professionals chapter of EWB to assist with the design and implementation of an orphanage building, well, latrine, and washroom construction project. The program is necessary because the current orphanage is just a couple old buildings on rented land. There is also no well on site and very poor sanitation conditions. The orphanage must purchase and transport water every day from the center of town which is an unnecessary expense. The founder and head of the orphanage, Elise Doh Asem, has purchased property suitable for the construction of a new orphanage. Constructing the orphanage on owned land will allow for money previously spent on rent, to be spent on maintenance and education. The construction of a well on the new property will diminish the expense of purchasing water daily. The children currently use a 10’ x 5’ pit with a few wood beams placed across the top for a toilet; the construction of a self composting latrine will result in safer conditions for the children and a future source of compost for crops.

Public Health Improvements

Currently there are 29 children housed at the rented building and 50 more orphans are being sponsored by the orphanage as foster children. The new property is large and the head of the orphanage intends to use the financial savings of a new orphanage to build a school on the site to give the children a chance for a better education. The head of the orphanage owns a farm; all proceeds from the farm go to sustaining the current orphanage and foster children. The construction of a new orphanage on her private land is an economically sustainable solution to maintaining education and safe living conditions for the children.

This project will include the construction of an orphanage building, a self composting latrine, a washroom, and a well. The project will immediately improve the standard of living for the children of the current orphanage. Moving the orphanage to land owned by the headmaster will free funds that will allow for better living conditions of the orphans housed both at the orphanage and foster homes. The project will also result in the potential for future site development (educational center).

Water Resources

The current sanitation situation is extremely unsafe for the orphans. Currently the orphans use an open pit for a toilet. A self composting latrine is much more sanitary and will result in the eventual creation of safe compost for the orphanage owned farm. Washrooms (urinals) will also be constructed as currently the children are just using a crudely constructed urinal.

Water is currently purchased daily and transported to the orphanage in jerry cans. These cans are dumped into a cistern. Development of a well on the new orphanage site will lead to cost savings and safer water conditions (contamination risk in current cistern).


The NGO has worked in the area on many similar projects. Some members of the NGO are also local contractors, so EWB Las Vegas will be able to design the project knowing what supplies are available locally and the costs of those supplies. The president of the Las Vegas Professionals chapter (David Levine) was recently in the region helping to build a school and washroom. He took note of the available local supplies and construction methods. David Levine is in contact with the local NGO and will be helping with the design and construction of the project.

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