Local delegation to Africa works with Engineers Without Borders – Martinsburg Journal


Journal photo by Jeff McCoy
Roger Ethier, Technical Director of Engineers Without Borders, Int. (left) Pastor Tom Snyder (center) and Mick Marpole discuss logistics on the ‘Lil Sprout Portable Solar Pump’ which will be placed into operation next month in Africa.

Journal photo by Jeff McCoy
Roger Ethier, Technical Director of Engineers Without Borders, Int. (left) Pastor Tom Snyder (center) and Mick Marpole discuss logistics on the ‘Lil Sprout Portable Solar Pump’ which will be placed into operation next month in Africa.

RANSON — A local team that will be traveling to Uganda on a religious and medical mission met with Roger Ethier, Technical Director of Engineers Without Borders International at the Ranson Civic Center where Either designed pumps for the Community Garden. Ethier invented a solar powered water pump that is lightweight, portable, and can move 180 gallons an hour.

Ether’s engineering skills have been put to the test in some of the most remote and inhospitable locations in the world.

Pastor Tom Snyder and his “right-hand man” Mick Marpole met with Ethier and had many questions. “This could be a life changer,” Snyder said after seeing what the small package could do. The team was able to purchase a pump at a discount with non-profit Engineers Without Borders paying the difference in order to support the mission.

The pump is built to withstand the elements. It will be placed in a part of the world where there aren’t any spare parts or home improvement stores. “This is all prime stuff, the pumps, the relays. They don’t corrode, they don’t fail. The whole idea is (when) we bring them overseas they got to work,” Ethier said.

The pump is AC/DC and can work non-stop using A/C. Using solar power only can produce 720 gallons between charges. That can be used for drinking water, crops, or for the medical team. Many local churches have supported the mission in Africa and purchased land. Some of the land was used to plant corn to feed the orphan children. Water is a necessity in the hot dry climate. The pump can provide water to the dying crop.

“There is nothing like this at all in the market,” Ethier said. He holds the patient on the ‘Lil Sprout Portable Solar Pump’ invention.

“This could be revolutionary getting it into the right hands of the right people,” Snyder said.

Staff reporter Jeff McCoy can be reached at jmccoy@journal-news.net



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