Marilyn Tendeukai Mushayagwazvo is from Zimbabwe and has a degree in irrigation engineering. Thereafter, she worked for consultancy companies that install irrigation systems for farmers, where designed irrigation schemes. After this job, she worked in South Africa in the field of civil works and in irrigation and water management. She worked with smallholder farmers, to teach them which irrigation approach they should use and how they can manage the little water that they have. She also advised them on how to produce certain crops and which soil types are more effective.
Marilyn is studying Land and Water Development for Food Security and received a Rotary scholarship. Many lecturers at her undergraduate University were alumni of IHE Delft. After doing more research about IHE Delft she decided to apply for a Rotary scholarship and MSc at IHE Delft. She chose IHE Delft, because it is specialized in water. Also many people from her school came to IHE Delft to study in the field of water. ‘’I was impressed by the knowledge and level of innovation in the water sector which IHE Delft alumni from my home country possessed and that influenced my decision to also want to come and study here. I believe the academic modules are tailor made for optimally improving water resources management, to reduce agriculture based food insecurity.’’
On her motivation to study in the field of water: ‘’I always loved water related things. Growing up I always was aware of water use. For example: If I saw a tap leaking, I tried everything to stop the leak. Also, if I passed through someone’s house and I saw that they were wasting water, this got my attention. I was always connected to water.’’
About problems in her home country: ‘’In Zimbabwe we have water, but probably people do not know how to use the water they have, or do not know how to apply it for irrigation and what kind of techniques are effective. Also sometimes they have water, but it is groundwater and they do not know how to access the water, or they have water but they do not have proper equipment to use the water, because it is in dams or in rivers. Also some people do not have the finances to install proper infrastructure to utilize the water. Education about water is also lacking, people do not have much information about how to use water. Furthermore, big farms have more income and influence and get more of the water, this is difficult for smallholder farmers.’’
About studying at IHE Delft: ‘’The approach is different - here you have many lecturers for different subjects, someone teaches you about how to calculate things, about software etc. It is more comprehensive and they have researched more about how to bring the study material to the students. Also the examples are relevant, because you can actually see examples from the field. IHE Delft is known to be associated with top researchers and lecturers in water education and as such it is my hope to benefit academically from interacting with them. The international nature of IHE Delft, with water professionals from all over the world, is a great opportunity to build a strong professional network and friendships which could last a lifetime.’’
On how she experienced her first week: ‘’The Netherlands is picture perfect, very beautiful and the air is very clean. I could easily connect with other students and I have learned a lot about different cultures in a short time.’’
On finishing studying: ‘’I would like to go back home and try to go to the marginalized areas -I want to make something out of nothing. Those areas have the resources, but they need people with expertise to help them to improve the situation.’’
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