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The ENGARE project combines people and technology

For their final-year project, four mechanical engineering students at the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS) came together around their common interest in the international arena and undertook the feasibility study phase of ENGARE project, a water distribution and delivery project for Tanzania’s remote Ngorongoro region.


The feasibility study, planned for this fall, involves five villages and aims to identify technology that can be implemented at the technical and social levels. ENGARE, carried out in cooperation with a local partner, Arpakwa Ole Sikorei, and his Safari to School organization, is a sustainability project designed to ensure the local communities’ ownership of durable infrastructure that will provide a stable and sustainable supply of water.

Urgent need for action

Subsisting on cattle raising, the Maasai, a semi-nomadic people living on the plains of northern Tanzania, live far from resources such as drinking water. With the accentuation of climate change and its impact on the environment, including a longer dry season, these communities are seeing their water supplies depleted and their pastures reduced at an unsustainable rate.

After a project realized in the Ngorongoro region, Étienne Tardif, one of the four students, was struck by the people’s urgent need for water. “I had the opportunity to visit Tanzania in the winter of 2019 and that’s when I saw the water supply needs of the Maasai people. I know the ENGARE project will instantly improve the lives of the men, women and children in the community,” his fellow student Félix Garneau explained.

To remedy a situation that he considers unacceptable in the 21st century, Étienne found allies in Simon-Pierre Fortin, Félix Garneau and William Léonard. “Access to water shouldn’t be a political or monetary issue. It’s a fundamental human right; it’s life,” William Léonard pointed out.

The way forward

On completion of the feasibility study, whose primary objective is to identify the needs of the local communities, the group hope, among other things, to:

  • Quantify the water needs of the communities in the Ngorongoro region and identify possible water-delivery projects
  • Prepare project specifications for the selected solutions, including plans, topographic maps and a list of required materials
  • Submit a detailed budget for the projects
  • Demonstrate the projects’ feasibility using sustainable development tools
  • Develop a methodology to assess the social impact of the selected solution
  • Prepare a risk analysis for the implementation of the projects, taking into account political, legal and sociocultural considerations


” We’re working to see what can be done. We’ll go into the field, talk with people in the communities and immerse ourselves in their customs. In that way, we can discover what they want and how to meet their needs” 
-- Simon-Pierre Fortin

Achieving objectives

In line with some of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, ENGARE aims to take concrete action to help eradicate poverty in the world. Using analysis grids, the team will consider and include each of the different aspects of sustainable development in the project, which could lead to a good number of water-supply projects, in addition to extending over several years.

In the long term, the team plans to:

  •  carry out five water distribution and delivery projects in the Ngorongoro region
  • create a partnership between ÉTS’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Safari to School
  • introduce future ÉTS engineers to international cooperation and the relevant training

” One interesting facet is that we strive to include aspects of sustainable development. We’re trying to include appropriate tools and technologies to reduce poverty. We’re doing it in a more traditional way, which is unusual for this kind of project. From the human standpoint, it’s an experience that is enabling us to grow in many ways”
-- Simon-Pierre Fortin

Precisely because of the ENGARE project’s involvement in sustainable development, FÉRIQUE Fund Management decided to provide financial assistance to help it achieve its objectives.