Amara Sorie Tunkara comes from Sierra Leone. He has a background in Civil Engineering and currently he is studying for an MSc specializing in Environmental Science and Technology, having obtained a World Bank scholarship. He heard about IHE Delft from an alumnus who motivated him to apply, because it has the longest history of training water engineers and is the most popular international institute for training water engineers. Also IHE Delft alumni are doing very well.
Where did his passion for water come from?
‘’My mother remains my greatest source of inspiration. She went on to educate her children single- handed and showed us much love. Today I see my mother in me, wanting to provide the very best for my children.’’
About water issues in Sierra Leone
‘’The water supply and sanitation situation in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, is quite inadequate. But this is not a new problem. The infrastructure has been deteriorating for 3-4 decades because successive governments in the past have paid little or no interest in the water and sanitation sector in the country. During this period, the population of the city expanded tremendously, far beyond the capacity and limits of the existing infrastructure, as the rate of rural-urban migration spiked in the immediate aftermath of the civil war. Subsequently, the gap between demand for water and available supply widened. Women and children bear the overwhelming burden of collecting water in water-starved communities in the Western Area, often exposing themselves to great risks—rape, teenage pregnancies are not uncommon—in doing so. Although 87.8% of the people in the Western Area have been assessed as having access to safe, clean water, only 37.1% have access to pipe-borne water on-premises; 53% of the people are without. For this group of people, it means spending hours waiting in line to get water from street taps or from cut pipes in gutters, plus the associated high physical efforts required, or financial costs involved, in transporting them to their homes. This is the real story that needs to be told.’’
Amara is motivated to contribute to the water, sanitation, and environmental practices that are currently threatening Sierra Leonean and the world population, upon returning from IHE Delft, with the acquired innovative skills and knowledge. He said: ‘’I will help develop appropriate modelling tools to assist strategic planning of water resources management. I will contribute to highly-quality training of at least 100 managerial and technical staff, including on climate change impact (including economic impact) for the next generation of sector professionals, risks and opportunities in the WASH Sector, for all relevant public and private institutions involved and help create green jobs. I will help develop a climate change resilience plan for the Guma Reservoir and climate information and early warning system project for monitoring and management of the watershed, amongst other goals that I have set for myself.
What do you think about IHE Delft and Delft
I am learning a lot by interacting with the international student and staff population. My first impression is great, I like the water canals and the city of Delft.
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