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At the recent SAEA 2017 Fall Conference, SAEA President, Abdullah Ibrahim, reviewed the delicate balancing act the association strikes in keeping the technical focus in humanitarian relief projects. Numerous organizations already focus on the immediate humanitarian needs, like food and medication, of the people of Syria. SAEA is selecting projects focused on technology and sustainability in engineering outcomes that produce strategic, long-term humanitarian impact. “It’s what we excel in,” he says, given the diverse technical expertise of SAEA 250+ members.

This is reflected in SAEA’s current work. The Local Council of a rural Damascus village appealed to SAEA to find a solution for the lack of access to clean water for household usage in the town. While there were 15 wells already located in the area, residents simply lacked the means to extract the water and put it into effective use. With the first phase of the project completed, five manual water pumps have been installed by SAEA in the town and are operating, benefitting 350 families. More aid is underway with the prospect of servicing an additional 650 local  families. According to SAEA’s President, the organization’s strategically crafted projects in Syria aim for, “Major humanitarian impact, with a very limited budget.” The water pump project is just one example of what this statement translates to on the ground.

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