Nigeria Water Project


Wednesdays/ 7-9 pm/ 106B6 Engineering Hall

About Adu Achi

Historically, people in the village of Adu Achi in Southeast Nigeria have had to hike four miles round trip to obtain water from a contaminated stream. This hike, which has to be done multiple times a day to sustain a family took up most of the women’s and children’s time. This time intensive task, along with ailments caused by the contaminated water, prevented the pursuit of educational, economic, and social opportunities. After seeing the need of his community, Father Stan Ilo who grew up in Adu Achi proposed the plan for the water system which was accepted by EWB-USA, and in 2005, taken up by EWB-UIUC.

What We’ve Done

The team first traveled to Adu Achi in 2006 where they collected preliminary water use and demand data, conducted elevation surveying and mapping, investigated potential sites for borehole and storage tank construction, and tested water quality. It was at this point that developing a well to a clean aquifer, along with an extensive distribution system, was shown to be the most feasible option. This plan called for a 500 foot deep borehole with an electric submersible pump that is powered by a diesel generator, four miles of a gravity-fed distribution system, and six public tap stands to service the community. The implementation of the system took place over three summers from 2007 to 2009.

From December 2011 to January 2012 the project team made a monitoring trip to Adu Achi where they focused on repairs, training operators to run and maintain the system, and training clerks to manage its finances. A tanker tap was also added to provide income to the system and its employees through the sale of water to tanker trucks. This trip also served to reestablish communication between the project team and the Water Project Management Committee (WPMC). The team went on its second monitoring trip in May and June 2013 where they educated the community on the importance of clean water, made necessary repairs, demonstrated the pressurization process and oversaw the start-up period of one branch of the system.

Since this trip the system has been running bi-weekly and is in transition to a new management structure where the water system is operated by a manager as a small business. The system has also been connected to the now more reliable national electric grid to cut operating costs. The EWB team has been partnering with local agencies in order to provide the local monitoring that is absolutely necessary for a civil works project in a developing area. Currently EWB, the village and their partners are working towards pressurizing the system. It is a rigorous task but all parties involved are optimistic about the bright future of the system and the impact it will have on generations to come.

What We’re Currently Working On

  • Fundraising/Grant writing
  • Repairing Pump/Well
  • Upgrading to Pressurized System
  • Communication with the community
  • Working with EWBN (EWB Nigerian counterpart) and Flairglob
  • Weekly calls
  • Advising on maintenance and repair issues
  • Helping to improve management system and operation
  • Working on closing out the project.
  • Getting our party on!


Current project leads: Buck Walsh and George Gunter

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions!


%d bloggers like this: