Juma Benard

This programme opens up a wider window of reasoning in a multi-dimensional perspective.

Sub-Saharan Africa
Kenya Sub-Saharan Africa

What made you decide to study this particular programme?
I have a passion in regional climate/flood modeling and prediction. Continued global warming has consistently accelerated the impacts of climate change. Regional and global climate prediction models reveal increase in atmospheric and sea surface temperatures. It is therefore expected that evaporation and precipitation will be enhanced. For this reason, future flood frequencies and magnitudes will increase. This will enhance exacerbations on future generation. Since climate variability and weather phenomena do not know political boundaries, the negative impacts of extreme floods will be felt world over. It is therefore needful to develop expertise who will adequately explore scientific knowledge and incorporating public participation and policy makers in dealing with the floods and hence ensuring a safer generation. I will be happy to be part of scientists with knowledge to alleviate flood fatalities, damage to properties and water-borne diseases. These aspects drove my passion in pursuing this Master of Science Programme.

Can you say something about studying in Delft/the Netherlands? 
It is admirable to be an International student in Netherlands and in Delft to be specific. Studying in Delft is one thing but my experience has shown me that it is another thing to be a participant at the IHE Delft. I find this institution to be a hands on, science driven and it is just auspicious to be associated with it. Both resident and visiting professors are friendly and willing to disseminate knowledge to participants whole-heartedly regardless of race, religion or country of origin. They make lectures to be very student owned, lively and discussion-based. Consultations are open at any time including normal coffee breaks. Generally, lecturers have students at heart and ever ready to listen and share with them. Student fraternity is of its kind. Students are self driven and they always contact themselves with dignity. The spirit of cohesion, brotherhood and care amongst students is just beyond reproach. Non-teaching staff members are also very friendly and social to everyone. I find IHE Delft a home away from home.

Social interaction with the general public in Delft is however a bit disharmonic. This, according to my opinion, is because of the language barrier. Many people in public and social amenities like supermarkets, churches and city centers speak Dutch while most of the international students do not. I found it a bit difficult to freely interact outside the University environment.

What kind of professional background do you need to succeed in this programme?
Personally, I have professional background in Meteorogy from University Of Nairobi. A background in civil and hydraulic engineering, hydrology, hydro-geology and/or related disciplines is a major asset for one to study Flood Risk Management.

Why should new students/water professional choose this programme?
Two things: knowledge and cultural/or social aspects. 

This programme opens up a wider window of reasoning in a multi-dimensional perspective. This not only leads to providing optimal solutions to real-life problems but also gives room to multi-criteria practical approach to searching for solutions in flood related problems.

On cultural or social aspects, this programme exposes students to various European cultures since participants move to many European countries; for instance the students get opportunity to study in Technical University of Dresden in Germany, IHE Delft in Netherlands, Technical University of Catalonia in Spain and University Of Ljubljana in Slovenia. One also gets an opportunity to interact with students from various parts of the world. International field trip to Florida in USA is inevitable, thanks to Florida Earth Foundation, University of Florida, United States Geological Survey (USGS) and Everglades Restoration Project.

What are you going to do once back home?
I have an obligation to do all that appertains to the knowledge that this Masters Programme equips me with. I intend to involve policy makers and other stake holders, both at institutional and individual levels to promote flood risk management in Kenya. 

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