Echoes of Former Myanmar-Netherlands Water Challengers

Photo Myanmar Netherlands Water Challenge in 2016: Making short presentation to elaborate their ideas

The twilight of summer holidays among university students is now approaching. Most of the university reopen in the first week of June, yet some in the second week of May. Students have finished their first semester in March and then, refreshen their eagerness in summer period.

After launching the 2nd edition of Myanmar-Netherlands Water Challenge in January 2018, university students received a reminder in their thoughts waking up professional spirits. It is not because they have experienced in this program but because the previous edition (1st edition) left sparkling flare for the sake of future water generation.

Let's retrospect to previous edition. The theme was Smart Delta, referred to Ayeyarwady Delta, one of the world's major deltas, flowing like a main artery in Myanmar. University students could experience tangible assets and practical knowledge in working field. Apart from those kind of technical stuffs, public speaking, social networking, creating own presentation, debating, confronting the statements, and writing academic paragraphs, such kind of soft skills had been experienced. Not university life should be filled with rote learning, it should be filled encourage critical thinking which brings to reality. Students prefer to apply knowledge that they obtain in learning period in actual situation before they face to reality.

In this moment, a group of organizations from industry, government and academia from both Myanmar and the Netherlands are joining forces to engage and inspire younger generations to become actively involved in the cooperation through the Myanmar-Netherlands Water Challenge.

Capacity Building is Essential

Part of the answer under question of sustainable development lies in capacity building. To renovate effective financial instruments, countries need to have a good understanding of the risks involved. It means they have to have access to water-related data, the capacity to collect and process data so they can build risk models, and additionally have the knowhow to choose the best financial tools that fit their requirements.

Here are some interviews of former Myanmar-Netherlands Water Challengers

My name is Phuuthit Kyaw, a final year student of Myanmar Maritime University studying river and coastal engineering. For my bachelor degree of B.E engineering, I am now doing with my project for Nyaungdone region.

Last time Myanmar-Netherlands Water challenge, I was one of the participants. According to my wonderful three day experiences, I actually would like to share mine.

Describing Water challenge should be a word of " sharing", I purpose.

I'd seen a lot of sharing during this three days, knowledge especially. Water challenge is where real experts and young ones can share a various sort of knowledge building a strong networking. For me, it was very honor to be apart of that.

My challenges were all of that you mentioned below. During three days, We have tried all of these to create a good project. Social Networking, Communication of course, we were in team and there were four teams totally.

Unexpectedly, we have encountered the social arguments because these four teams were trying for the land and positions. These four teams have tried the best for the development of smart delta as own roles. ( river team , port team, something like that..) This was also super exciting. The challenges of public speaking and leadership might be super huge for me to face as well.

In my opinion, I've knew that knowledge is something that must share to create a powerful capacity building and strong networking and smart development together. And I was experienced teamwork, public speaking and working under pressure happily. Especially, I gladly would like to mention there were a lot of fun.

All three-days was a lot of fun and a lot of excitings and hard working and full of real new experiences as well.

My name is Pann Ei Ei Phyoe. I am a master student who is specializing the program of "Water Resources Engineering and Management" in University of Stuttgart, Germany. I am the former Holland-Water Challenger.

How would you like to describe the previous water challenge?

The Netherlands-Myanmar Water challenge is a booster of my passion on integrated water management. I could see through the challenge that Myanmar is facing challenges in water sectors, starting from water supply system to water quality management. The challenge had created the bridge to emerge young water professionals.

What are your challenges in Myanmar-Netherlands Water Challenge? Describe a brief explanation about your challenges.

My challenge was about "River Management" and my team had won the challenge. Hydrology is one of the main factors in the IWG. I had a chance to work closely with students from different universities and international experts. Besides the content of the challenge, we had a chance to practice the personal development skills. Teamwork and presentation skills were highly trained throughout the challenge. Besides, the challenge had invited many companies, local authorities, professors and many students, therefore, networking was one of the highlights in Holland water challenge. That's why, Holland water challenge had the impact on water resources management in many ways.

In your opinion, what kind of knowledge and experience did you gain?

I had learned the importance of the river system including the human interventions on upstream and downstream. Besides, we had brainstormed the solutions for integrated river systems mainly on decision making process by involving the active users (farmers, citizen,) and the roles of the stakeholders. Creativity is one of the main enhancing factors of this challenge and I could practice the creative skills such as many ideas from different perspectives. Besides, I had raised the knowledge on environmental issues including climate change and water resources management. As I had a chance to talk to different stakeholders, I not only gained my networks but also a passion to sense my professional pathways.

What is your exciting moment during 3-days Program?

The exciting moment was working with students from different universities. We had achieved the teamwork skills by discussing different opinions. The most thrilling moment was to present our innovative idea to different stakeholders and we had won the prize.

Konnichiwa, I am Shwe Yati Su, currently working as Junior Civil Engineer in Civil and Building Department in JGC corporation, Yokohama in Japan. My specialization in university is Port and Harbour Engineering.

How would you like to describe the previous water challenge?

When I was a university student, I had joined the course of Myanmar-Netherlands Water Challenge. Since from at that time, I am waiting for new experience from water challenge. The precious water challenge was also exciting and fun especially for new experiences. Our team won the first prize by sharing information and our opinions approaching to one title. I really loved that we all were actively united and found ways to solve by using supportive demonstration which I had never used once before. From this challenge, I have got many friends from different kinds of places and known other`s ideas and problems.

What are your challenges in Myanmar-Netherlands Water Challenge? Describe a brief explanation about your challenges.

For Public Speaking part, I absolutey love this part. Thinking creatively and trying to solve problems and sharing to others with good presentation are exciting and fantastic moments I had got as new experiences. Although our ideas are not recognized as being still young and inexperienced, I could share and open up my ideas to attentive audiences at the water challenge.

Creating arguments was a good experience for me. To get attention and recognition for my ideas, I did find good reasons and explanation. And then, pursuing to other for one`s opinion worked well in this way.

In your opinion, what kind of knowledge and experience did you gain?

For me, I got much knowledge and experience. Water is such a kind of treasure what we could touch every day in our society though some parts of the world are lack of clean water. Year after year, clean water shortage could become a main problem what we are going to face. This concept how to solve by doing actions right now comes in after this challenge. Moreover, sharing is caring and good habits to retain clean water should be a main target. As a little habit, I have known that I should reduce waste of water starting from house whole things. Field trip to Dala region gave me first experience to know how the real problem of water shortage and normal daily life of other people. Walking along the road holding "Water Challenge" umbrellas and caps with friends and lovely Dutch mentors was unforgettable best moment ever in life. Having lunch and dinner happily and enjoyably with friends was the best moment. Interviewing from MNTV was also exciting moment.

What is your exciting moment during 3-days Program?

They are

  • Field Trip
  • Presentation and
  • Listen to the voices of experienced people.

How would you like to describe the previous water challenge?

It was quite challenging and impressive program.

What are your challenges in Myanmar-Netherlands Water Challenge? Describe a brief explanation about your challenges.

Challenges from Myanmar-Netherlands Water Challenges were quite impressive. We had exciting moment of Social networking, communication and engagement during Program. One of the benefits was having a chance to share our knowledge and experiences with Young Experts from Various sectors. We had to engage, create arguments and storm our brains to overcome the challenge we had to face. Presenting our engagement results of water challenges to Local Authorities was the most challenging and exciting moment in 3-day program.

In your opinion, what kind of knowledge and experience did you gain?

Experiences from 3-day program like Social Engagement become effective tool in my job. We have done many Public Consultation Meetings (PCMs), according to EIA procedure, include Stakeholders and Social Engagement about Environmental and Social Issues. And also experiences from relationship with government offices become useful in my career.As Myanmar still have lots of challenges in water sector, many young water professionals are needed. Experiences and knowledge form Myanmar-Netherland Water Challenge will be an effective tool for Myanmar Water sector.

What is your exciting moment during 3-days Program?

My exciting moment during 3-days Program was Field Trips. We had a chance to get knowledge about actual Water Environment of Yangon. We went to Dala Township and YCDC (Yangon City Development Committee) office and listened to the voices of relative authorities and experienced people. If I have a chance, I would like to participate in next Water Challenge Program. Moreover, I would like to strongly encourage Future Young Water Leaders to join in Myanmar-Netherland Water Challenge.
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