Unesco-IHE trains students from small island states to strengthen local water management
The Ministry of foreign affairs of the Netherlands and Unesco-IHE Institute for water education jointly launched the project 'Strengthening Small Island Developing States’ capacity in the water sector to cope with the effects of climate change.
The project enables water professionals from small island developing states (SIDS) to enroll in a master's programme or short course at Unesco-IHE.
The first group of five MSc students started in October and short course participants arrived in Delft, the Netherlands, in January for five weeks, with more planning to start in the upcoming months.On small islands water management is closely related to agriculture and hydropower. Here seen the Nadarivatu dam at Fiji.
Opportunity to study existing problems
Crystal Conway is from Guyana and arrived recently on a SIDS scholarship. "Guyana actually means land of many waters. The majority of the population lives on what we call the low coastal plain, a mere two metres below sea level. Coming from Guyana to study my masters in hydroinformatics is very valuable."
"In my job I spend a lot of time in the field, talking to the people on the ground who deal with water related issues. For example, when it is low tide, salt water tends to intrude upstream going far into the rivers. Farmers have no choice but to use that water to irrigate their land, so they are in effect salting their land in the long term. This is one of many problems that needs to be looked at, but nobody has had the opportunity yet,” said Crystal Conway.
Encourage fellow islanders to apply
Amit Singh from Fiji: "I heard about Unesco-IHE from one of my colleagues, who noticed a post on Facebook. That is also how I found out about the SIDS programme. I did more research about the scholarship and then applied for the programme in Water Resources Management."
"Due to climate change and the subsequent rising sea level, it is of great importance to manage what we have. I would like to encourage fellow Pacific islanders to apply for the SIDS Fellowships", said Amit Singh.
This news item was originally published on the website of Unesco-IHE.
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