Billiamin Seriki

It was like a Home away from Home! So accommodating unlike back home where relations are always tempered with politics. Here the people tell me exactly how they feel.

Sub-Saharan Africa
Nigeria Sub-Saharan Africa

 What is your educational background?
I studied international relations and diplomacy. I was a journalist for 7 years before I joined water NGO in Nigeria. In journalism I covered many stories relating to drinking water and sanitation in the North of Nigeria and while doing this I became more interested in why more people do not have access to water resources. Provision of safe water or running water is scarce, yet so few people complain. Even myself have on occasions gone without access to clean water, still I never thought it was a major problem until I saw statistics of death records and conflicts as a result of no water or ‘bad water’ around the world. So I wanted to know more.

So far what have been the highlights of your study?
I have found everything very interesting. What interest me most was the practical aspect of the course, field-trips and workshops. We had role-play and simulation training at Clingendael, and guest lecturers were brought in from across the world to train us in my specialization. I found this extremely invaluable to my skill-set throughout the course.

Why did you pick IHE Delft for your studies?
I wanted to have a professional experience in water management and I wanted it to relate to my social sciences background. So when I looked around, I thought IHE Delft has the reputation and would provide me with the best.

How has the degree helped you with your career progression and do you know what you will be doing afterwards?
Part of the agreement with my sponsor NFP was to design an action plan to implement my newly acquired knowledge in my home-country. So when I get back to Nigeria I will plan a training-of-trainers conference to share the knowledge and my experiences with all water stakeholders – NGOs/civil society, governments/civil workers and private industry - bring everyone together and try to develop action plans for Nigerians to move into the future for better water management.

What is it like to live in Delft? Do you like the atmosphere?
The people in Delft were very friendly. When we arrived I signed up to a program called Meet-the-Dutch and was assigned a Dutch family who I spent much wonderful times with. They became my family instantly and we celebrated birthdays and visited places together as we discussed the world and our different cultures. It was like a Home away from Home! So accommodating unlike back home where relations are always tempered with politics. Here the people tell me exactly how they feel.

Would you recommend IHE Delft to prospective students?
I need to be critical here. I have struggled with some aspects of the course - Chemistry and hydrology for examples. But for every ambitious professionals who want to change the world around them while seeking career boost, I recommend IHE Delft. They will learn new integrated ideas and disciplines from where they can go out to change the world. 

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