Tim McGrath, a senior principal at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) traveled to Uganda recently as part of the Engineers Without Borders-Northeastern University chapter (EWB-NEU).

McGrath is the professional mentor to a team of Northeastern students traveling to help the village of Bbanda to establish the Water Board that will lead to water system construction and then oversee the system’s operations and maintenance. “Sustainability is the key with these types of projects,” McGrath says, noting that the Water Board’s oversight is a critical element in the project’s long-term viability. Bbanda is about four hours west of Kampala, Uganda’s capital. The team was gone for 10 days.

This is Northeastern’s second trip to the village. During the first trip, they assessed the current water supply situation, interviewed residents, and discussed the villager’s current state of health. The village is located “in a rural area and the people living there often spend an hour traveling to get water from a limited number of inadequate sources,” according to the EWB-NEU web site. “Twenty-liter jerry cans are the most popular method of transporting water, and the villagers must make multiple trips just to have enough for their daily activities of washing, cooking, and drinking.”

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. (SGH) is a national engineering firm that designs, investigates, and rehabilitates structures and building enclosures. Its work encompasses building, transportation, water/wastewater, and nuclear/science/defense projects throughout the United States and in more than 30 other countries. SGH has offices in Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.