Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2019


Civil, Environmental and Sustainable Engineering

First Advisor

Edwin Maurer

Second Advisor

Laura Doyle


The aim of this project was to develop a prototype that may be a model to help relieve food insecurity in rural Liberia. This was accomplished by designing a groundwater extraction, recharge, and irrigation system to facilitate year-long crop-growth. The project was in partnership with BRAID Africa and a community in Zwedru, located in east Liberia, near the border of Côte D’Ivoire. During 2010 and 2011, a civil war broke out in Côte D’Ivoire and led to the citizens of the country taking refuge in Liberia (Leaf 2015). Many refugees have decided to stay in Liberia and are struggling to maintain food security as most subsist on rice with not even enough to sell. Currently, villagers in Zwedru only grow the rice in swamps during the rainy season and, with climate change, the rainy season is becoming increasingly unreliable (USAID 2012).

The irrigation system that was designed for this project has allowed villagers to grow certain crops, such as cassava, okra, chard, and squash, during the dry season which will help alleviate food insecurity with the goal of providing a source of income for the farmers. This project was designed for a one hectare (2.47 acres) plot, which can be scaled up or down depending on land area and available resources.