Hassan Jumanne Mhando comes from The United Republic of Tanzania and is pursuing the MSc programme in Environmental Science with a specialization in Applied Aquatic Ecology for Sustainability. Hassan received an OKP fellowship. Prior to coming to IHE Delft, he was looking for another Master’s degree, about aquaculture, aquatic science, and marine science because he wanted to pursue a course that is related to his background in marine biology. When he was searching about aquaculture and marine science, he came across one of the scholarships that supports studying at IHE Delft.
About studying in Delft/the Netherlands: ‘’The first week was somehow challenging, because of the weather. I am from a tropical country, where it is very hot. I prefer to say hot, not warm. All of a sudden, I came to The Netherlands where it is very cold. So that transition from a hot climate to a cold climate was a challenge. What also surprised me is that I had heard stories about The Netherlands having a lot of bicycles and it is actually true, there are a lot. I didn’t expect that.
One thing that I like here is the mix of students. All students come from different countries. They aren’t from The Netherlands, I haven’t seen any Dutch student at IHE Delft and I don’t know if there are any. Everyone is sharing the experiences of where they come from. I came to understand that we differ in the way we do things in our countries and I have also learned more about some of the issues from others.
About problems in his home country: ’’Well, there are many problems in Tanzania related to water. Almost 20-30 percent of Tanzania is occupied by water bodies. We have three major lakes in Africa: Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria, and Lake Nyasa and we have a long coastal area. We have also an ocean zone and a lot of rivers which run into the ocean, so we have plenty of water resources. The problem is that not everybody in Tanzania has access to clean and safe water. Tanzania has 56 million inhabitants and only twenty percent of them have access to clean and safe water. So that means most of the water that we have is either lost or is used in an unsustainable way. By this I mean, it does not reach people who are in need of it. We also have a pollution problem, especially in the coastal areas. Nowadays, many people are moving to the coastal area and because of the rising population in the coastal area, the pressure on the coastal resources is increasing. That pressure causes many effects, one of which is pollution. For example, people are putting in much effort so that they can obtain a lot of fish and some of them are using poison for fishing. Others are using dynamite for fishing, which pollutes and destroys aquatic environments. So, if you include all those problems, then we have a very big problem with water in Tanzania and that’s why I decided to come to IHE Delft to study water. On top of that, I am a tutor, so the knowledge that I will acquire at IHE Delft, I will pass on to my students. So, this knowledge will have a multiplier effect when I go back home.’’
When Hassan finishes his studies, he wants to start teaching Bachelor's degree programmes. He also has ambitions of becoming a researcher. ‘’I am pretty much sure that after completing my studies at IHE Delft I will have the research skills I need. I will use those skills to solve the water problems that we’re having now in my country. My other focus will be on developing management plans that will help in the conservation of these coastal ecosystems and also on increasing the fishery resources in Tanzania that will help fishermen to boost their livelihoods.’’
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