Posted on 23 May 2014
18 Students from the Netherlands, Mozambique and South Africa started their Wetskills Water Challenge South Africa 2014, in Mbombela on 19 May. Together with several experts from South Africa they started with a "brain hurricane" on four specific water issues in South Africa.
The students had gathered in Mbombela a few days earlier to meet and get to know each other by making some cultural and professional trips. One included a visit to Lebombo water purification plant (photo above).
Wetskills is a series of events where Dutch water-related students meet foreign students and work on innovative solutions for existing water cases. Previous editions took place in Romania, Mozambique, China, South Africa, Egypt, Oman, Indonesia and Morocco.
The current edition in South Africa coincides with the biennial WISA Conference & exhibition 2014 in Mbombela where the award ceremony will take place on 27 May.
Energizing Brain Hurricane
Traditional the Wetksills Water Challenge South Africa started with a Brain Hurricane session, speed dating for all participants, energized by a hurricane of information and experiences on water management.
One of the students during the hurricane: "The Brain Hurricane session was too daunting to say the least. It felt more like a brain tsunami than anything else. Our minds were congested with thoughts and bubbling with ideas. As young people in the profession it was exciting to come up with concepts while being helped to organize our thoughts."
Four international teams
The total group for this edition consists of ten South African, two Mozambican and six Dutch young professionals with a passion for water. There are four teams and each team addresses one specific water case.
The participants work in teams and are challenged to come up with innovative solutions for existing water problems.
The four real water cases are:
● efficient and cost effective solutions to address water and sanitation challenges in the rural areas of Mpumalanga
● turning waste from a wastewater treatment plants into a profitable business
● business wise training development and delivery
● designing a Smart Water App for farmers, citizens, water managers and perhaps even Kruger National Park