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MIT Engineers Without Borders is Building a Solar Pump in Mkutani

Raised toward our $8,000 Goal
77 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on July 15, at 01:00 AM EDT
Project Owners

MIT Engineers Without Borders is Building a Solar Pump in Mkutani

Mkutani is in central Tanzania

Our Project: Clean Water for Mkutani

Our current project is based in a village of 3000 people outside of Dodoma, Tanzania. The village, Mkutani, lacks access to clean drinking water. Currently residents can access water from a polluted river nearby, expensive prepackaged bottles, or a borehole over 2 km away with a frequently-broken hand pump.

Our long term goal is to provide a convenient, reliable source of water to Mkutani villagers. To do so, we will install a solar-powered pump system to replace the current hand pump, which is difficult to operate and not robust. In the long term, we will build a distribution system to bring water distribution points closer to the village. 


Solar panels installed during last year's trip


How You Can Help

Your donation helps us pay for travel reimbursements, material costs, and equipment as we work on pump installation and improving the distribution center. Any questions? Contact us at


About the Solar Pump and Tank System

The MIT Chapter broke into three teams in order to tackle the technical design of the new solar pump and tank system.


Planned changes to original well

Water Team: This semester, the water team worked with engineers from the Boston professional chapter to develop a head loss model for water flow from the storage tank to the tap stand. We then used the model to determine the tank height required for the desired flow rate.


Structural Team: The structural team worked to design a stand for the water tank. We needed to make sure our design could support a 10,000 L tank of water, plus the tank itself, and a total weight of the tank and water totalling 25,000 pounds. Additionally, we had to consider Tanzanian regulations for these structures, including a 5m minimum height.


Plan of new piping

Electrical Team: The electrical team worked on putting the whole system together. We looked at the specs for the pump, solar panels, and controller to find the best wiring configuration, and created a diagram with all the interconnected parts. We also worked on calculations so that the system could meet the requirements of the community. By working with the Boston Professional Chapter, we were able to learn a lot about Application Engineering and link it to what we've done in school.


Our 2017-2018 team

About Engineers Without Borders

EWB is a non-profit that partners with people from developing countries around the globe, and works with them to find solutions that will improve quality of life in their communities.

As part of the MIT Engineers Without Borders chapter, a student-run organization, we are learning practices that will make us lifelong change-makers. Our team is a diverse group of engineers, scientists, leaders, designers, humanitarians and innovators that's working together to create a better world, one community at a time.

Choose a giving level


Section of Pipes

$10 covers two meters of piping for the solar pump.


Ground Transportation

$25 covers ground transportation in Tanzania for one week.


Meals and Transportation

$60 covers the cost of ground transportation and a student's meals for a week in Tanzania.


Drop Cable

$100 will buy 20 meters of waterproof drop cable for the solar pump.



$200 will buy all 45 meters of piping needed for the solar pump.


Solar Panel

$400 will buy one solar panel.


Metal and Iron Works

$1000 will cover metal and iron works for gate and ventilation


Cement Fence

$1500 will buy the cement brick fence for the solar pump.


Sponsor a Student

$2500 covers travel, food, transportation, and accommodations for one student in Tanzania while building the solar pump.

Our Crowdfunding Groups