George S Tengbeh

After studying here, I will join the world's largest water network – the IHE Delft alumni family – and learn from the experiences of other alumni in providing solutions to current and future water crises. This will expand my career opportunities.

Sub-Saharan Africa
Liberia Sub-Saharan Africa

George S Tengbeh, from Liberia, is studying Water Management and Governance.

How did you hear about IHE Delft?
From a friend who was also thinking about applying. She said that IHE Delft is the best place to study water,  sanitation and hygiene (WASH) as well as water supply and control as well as crisis prevention through governance. This triggered my attention and I started searching on the internet for courses that IHE Delft offers and possible scholarships. My friend didn’t manage to get a scholarship this time but will apply again..

What are the benefits of studying here?
I wanted to study abroad as I want a high-quality education, and this is offered by IHE Delft. Here, I meet diverse groups of people from all around the world, and learn the complexities  surrounding water topics such as allocation, distribution and use. I wanted to study in the Netherlands to learn and understand Dutch water knowledge: how they battle with water to keep their feet dry. IHE Delft turned out to be a great place to do my research. After studying here, I will join the world's largest water network – the IHE Delft alumni family – and learn from the experiences of other alumni in providing solutions to current and future water crises. This will expand my career opportunities. 

Water-related problems in Liberia
Two years ago when I was voluntering with the Liberia Water, Sanitation and Hygience Commission as a field enumerator and serving as executive director for a local non-profit organization, I wondered why Liberia, with abundance of water (lakes, rivers, groundwater, freshwater and plenty of rain), suffers from poor water supply, poor waste water management, poor irrigation and poor integrated water resource management programs. I find it sad that only 15% of my country have access to safe drinking water despite Liberia having committed to working toward fulfilling the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Six, which calls for access to water and sanitation for all.

Back home, I saw the effects of the poor water management: an alarming maternal mortality rate and too many kids dying from diarrhea, cholera and other water-borne diseases. During the dry season, too many girls and women suffer from sexually harassement when they walk through the night to fetch buckets of water from nearby communities. On one of my field visits to Harbel, I was surprised to see that people from nearby villages still drink water from rivers that have are polluted because of the construction of an electric dam. I raised alarm about the situation but nothing changed. We have governance issues, with poor or ineffective implementation of water policies leading to poor water and sanitation services. For these and many more reasons, I chose to study water. I want to become a changemaker for my country.

I have learned a lot in a very short time and I am humbled by the teaching style which is learner-centered and promotes our active participation. I am amazed at how straightforward lecturers are with students and how open they are to extend conversations. I love the diversity: students connect for the future and create a network to help each other. I am open to working anywhere, but first I want to share my knowledge with my country. Then we will see what the future holds.  

After graduation
I would also like to study Human Resource Management, so I can be a manager in the field of water. I am also interested in water and peace, as well as conflict resolution and dialogue. 

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More information about Water Management and Governance.

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