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IARU Global Summer Program: Sustainable Water Management in Africa Course 2017

24 Oct 2017 - 12:00
Image of  UCT IAPO, GSAP staff and students welcomed IARU and other partner institutions students to UCT.

 UCT IAPO, GSAP staff and students welcomed IARU and other partner institutions students to UCT.

The International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), Global Summer Programme in Sustainable Water Management in Africa took place between 17 – 28 July 2017. The event, hosted by the Global Short Academic Programmes (GSAP) - UCT International Academic Programmes Office (IAPO), included 9 UCT students and 6 international students (from University of Copenhagen, University of Cambridge and University College of London), from various fields of study who participated in the programme.

Led by Prof Sue Harrison (Director of UCT Future Water Institute), the course exposed students to an interdisciplinary approach in  examining the current water crises, trends and conditions in developing countries. The program included a 2 day field-trip to Franschhoek where students were required to do an analysis of water demand and supply as well as a survey on the impact of water supply, demand, quality and equitable distribution on sustainable livelihoods. This is something UCT student Lulama Ngobeni found really fitting as she exclaimed, “I really enjoyed the manner in which they effectively engaged community members to implement the project”.

The programme encouraged students to critically engage the technical, social, cultural, economic, political, economic and environmental challenges of water demand and supply.  Students were given insights about how to derive maximum benefit from each water resource without overburdening these strategic resources.   Students were also made aware of the need to secure “new taps” in a water sensitive urban design context.

Yosra Elgonaid of University College of London described the course as “very high level and very intellectual”.  The program aimed to give students a broad understanding of the role of water in society and its importance in sustaining livelihoods.

The programme’s academic inputs ran alongside exciting excursions to some of Cape Town’s numerous historical and cultural landmarks as well as a scenic tour of the Peninsula. The programme was concluded with a farewell dinner hosted at the Africa Café.

All the students engaged with after the program reported that it was enlightening and informative. “I felt that I learned a lot from a from other people and various fields I was exposed to. And I think the great experience we got from the programme brought us together”, says Simone Hansen from the University of Copenhagen describing her experience.

 

Story: Lerato Mokhethi  Image: Supplied