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Butaro Rwanda Water Project: Design and Construction of a Water System taking a “One Health” Approach




EC: Edgerton Center

Faculty Supervisor:

Susan Murcott

Faculty email:


Apply by:

March 12


Susan Murcott: murcott@mit.edu

Project Description

Project Goal: To collaboratively design and implement a safe drinking water intervention in 1 village in Butaro, Rwands by end of August, 2020, that will potentially be a model for other similar safe water provision projects going forward in Rwanda. This project is a collaboration between 4 universities – University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) , the University of Rwanda (UR), the Cumming School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The partnership seeks to identify and address issues related to safely managed drinking water (access, quantity, quality) as well as sanitation and hygiene. Using a One Health approach, students and faculty will work in a multi-disciplinary team, each person contributing their specific expertise, to complete the project goals in collaboration with community partners in Butaro, Rwanda, location of the UGHE. Specific activities include selecting 3-4 study communities and liaising with community leaders, developing the study methodology and water sampling strategy, designing and carrying out a survey for Objective 1, using this data to design a water intervention for one community. The team will then work with community residents to construct the intervention, follow-up on usability, and disseminate research findings for potential expansion to other communities in the region.


The MIT contribution to this multidisciplinary team is meant to be in the area of water system engineering. We already have one, MIT undergraduate, a mechanical engineer, on the team. We are therefore seeking a person with civil, environmental, mechanical or other engineering and/or design and construction skills. In addition, we welcome planning skills, structural engineer skills, and/or construction experience, especially masonry! If you don’t have some or any of those skills, but have an interest in developing those skills, it is possible we may still consider your application. We expect to have only two MIT students on this team. Also essential are cross-cultural communication skills, flexibility, and the ability to problem solve in a rapidly changing work environment.