Yvonne Sungu is from Kenya and is studying for an MSc specializing in Water Management and Governance. Back home she works as a lecturer at Kenya Water Institute, where most of the lecturers had studied or were trained at IHE Delft (now alumni). From them she heard about IHE Delft and they also told her that she will be a very good water expert, if she would also study at IHE Delft. Yvonne decided to study at the Institute, because the Netherlands is known as a water expert country. She also likes the international environment and knows that she can learn a lot from her fellow students. Yvonne has an Orange Knowledge Scholarship.
Where did her passion for water come from?
‘My first exposure to the water sector was when I was 5 years old. My father is an expert in water resources back home in Kenya. His wealth of knowledge and passion with which he speaks about his job piqued my interest in the sector. With his guidance, I made the decision to pursue an under- graduate degree in water management at the Jaramogi University of Science and Technology. Another interesting experience that I would say shaped my career path was when working on a rural project in Nandi Hills, I saw first-hand the difference we could make. And the rest they say is history!’’
About water issues in Kenya
Yvonne noticed that “sometimes you have heavy rains in the city. After a few minutes you see people walking with buckets, in search of water. There was no water harvesting equipment in the cities and hence I felt the urge to bring change to my country when it comes to water resource management. People also do not know that water is a resource that they should pay for (non-revenue water) and some of them try to manoeuvre ways to steal water by tapping from the water pipes illegally. I want to try to change this mind-set, so that they see that this a resource which is very precious - you need to value it and you have to pay for it, so it can be managed for our generation and our future generation. Also, water location is a problem, there is not an equal water distribution for the people.’’
“I hope to finish my studies and go back home and disseminate the knowledge I will learn at IHE Delft to the many students that will pass through my classrooms. I also want to contribute to an equitable distribution of good quality water for all in Kenya. I want to make a difference in Kenya.’’
What do you think about IHE Delft and Delft
My first week was good, I loved how we were welcomed, despite the COVID-19 measures. We had online sessions, games and on top of that IHE Delft provided loads of food to take us through the first weeks. It was very informative, IHE Delft did make the best of an otherwise gloomy situation. The Netherlands is colder than I am used to, I especially like how the town is well organised and people are very friendly. The transport system is one of the best I've seen, and everyone obeys the traffic laws, Delft is a very nice place, I love it and look forward to my stay here!
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