Three MPhil students in South Africa awarded IWSN scholarship

In 2016, Monash South Africa recruited three Master of Philosophy students whose tuition has been paid by the International Water Security Network (IWSN). Here, they talk about their course in Integrated Water Management (IWM), their previous studies and their ambitions for the future.

Sindy Nkosis’phile Mthimkhulu
SindyI come from Swaziland, where I worked for the Department of Water Affairs. Employed as the Senior Water Engineer responsible for Water Control, my job entailed assessing water availability, water use monitoring, enforcement of the country’s water policies and regulations, and setting up and coordinating the activities of decentralised water management institutions.

The Swaziland Water Act of 2003 set up five River Basin Authorities (RBAs) along the country’s main rivers to effect decentralised water management. However, the RBAs have not had the capacity to fully execute their envisaged functions. Working with them, I noted that these institutions lack the required expertise in critical areas that would enable their effective and efficient operation. This prompted me to want to carry out research that would contribute some knowledge on how they could improve their functioning as well as their governance systems, to achieve the implementation of integrated water management.

I identified the MPhil at Monash South Africa as the perfect programme that could provide me with the relevant knowledge to come up with targeted solutions to the challenges of decentralising water management in Swaziland. The unique multi disciplinary nature of the programme comprising a taught part and case study specific research will equip me with the practical tools and skills that I need in order to contribute to solving the water governance issues in my country. I will forever be grateful to the International Water Security Network scholarship for affording me the opportunity to participate in this programme by sponsoring my tuition and accommodation expenses. Through their generous contribution, our water sector in Swaziland will be drastically transformed.

Tinashe Patience Rimau
Tinashe editI am a Child and Youth worker who is passionate about community development and managing community projects. I come from Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe, which has no water source of its own and is sustained by water supplies from Harare, located upstream of Lake Chivero. This results in chronic water shortages in the town as Lake Chivero is a water source providing for around 2.5 million people that reside in Harare, Epworth, Ruwa and Norton. The water and sanitation sector of the city is affected by chronic water shortages. Residents have embarked on sinking shallow wells to address the water and sanitation problem which has negatively affected the health of residents and the environment.

The challenges faced by my community have shaped my growing interests in sustainable development and water governance with a particularly strong interest in addressing the exclusion of women and marginal groups in the management of water. The MPhil in Integrated Water Management offered by Monash University not only meets all my interests but also affords the opportunity to learn from leading water experts. The programme brings a multi-disciplinary approach which allows networking with local and international professionals. I am forever indebted to the International Water Security Network for providing me with a scholarship, which will allow me to develop as a future water leader, contributing to the water management sector in my community and country.

Elsah Nomsa Dhliwayo
Elsah editI was born and grew up in Mutare, Zimbabwe. After completing my Honours in Child and Youth Development at Monash South Africa, I felt that I needed to diversify my studies and look at the environmental issues which are affecting my country. I discovered that issues pertaining to how water is governed and managed were gaining more importance and that a single discipline alone probably would not provide the solutions required. I was attracted to the Masters of Philosophy in Integrated Water Management because I realised that I needed knowledge of the multi-displinary nature of this problem in order to be able to improve the water sector in Zimbabwe.

I believe that this programme will provide me with an increased understanding of water management, allowing me to one day become one of the leading female representatives in the water sector in Zimbabwe.

I am so grateful to the International Water Security Network for the scholarship I have been awarded because it has given me an opportunity to purse a Masters degree. This is a dream come true and I am excited to make contact with other water experts, networks and organisations already working on water issues in Southern Africa.