Jackline Wanjiru Muturi (Kenya)
Water Resource Officer
Ewaso Ng'iro North Development Authority, Kenya
Master of Integrated Water Management
Jackline attained First Class Honours in her Bachelor of Science (Hydrology and Water Resources Management). She has worked as a Hydrogeologist and as a Water Resources Officer and other water-related roles in both the private sector and the Kenyan Government, where she has conducted assessments of groundwater and surface water, borehole siting surveys and supervision of their design and drilling, and feasibility studies for water pans, dams and irrigation development projects.
She currently works as a Water Resources Officer at Ewaso Ng'iro North Development Authority. Jackline hopes the MIWM will help her become more innovative and proactive in working towards improving quality of life for the betterment of humanity.
Integrated water management
I decided to study the MIWM because, having worked in diverse areas of Kenya, I have experienced first-hand the challenges inherent in water resources management, and I realised that I need knowledge of the multi-disciplinary nature of integrated water management to be able to improve the water sector in Kenya, and in the wider world as well.
Water management is a key issue all over the world, but it cannot be done independently because all natural resources are closely linked in one way or another. For instance, water catchments cannot be managed without considering forest management, because the water is naturally nourished by water catchments formed by forests either natural or manmade. So it is important that when managing water resources, an integrated interdisplinary approach is used so as to be able to manage the ecosystem as a whole.
Also, the complexity of integrated water resources management requires knowledge and wisdom from different disciplines. For example, engineering knowledge might focus on physical infrastructure systems, whereas sociology or psychology might focus on human impacts.
Water management in Kenya
I believe that the most important water management issues in Kenya are water scarcity and sanitation. Most Kenyan citizens have no access to clean drinking water and, if they have, the source is miles away. This has led to women and children walking for quite long distances in search of drinking water.
In the future, I wish to be involved in coming up with strategies to counter the water shortage and sanitation issues in Kenya and help in the management of projects towards achieving a water sufficient nation. As such, I will be in a position to be involved in activities that increase water recharge in catchments and empowering local communities in sustainable water management.
I believe that I will be a water leader who is able to make positive changes for the betterment of livelihoods of the rural poor, especially women and children.
During my work with the Ewaso Ng'iro North Development Authority, there was a great demand for us to provide guidance on policy issues, water resources management and regulation of the new institutions. These are some of the skills, along with the important role of engaging communities and applying knowledge from other disciplines while managing water resources, that I would like to acquire through the Master of Integrated Water Management.
I look forward to interacting with lecturers and classmates from diverse parts of the world, with different backgrounds, views and experiences. This will be invaluable in helping me appreciate the international aspects of integrated water management.
I believe the program will give me greater confidence in my work, a confidence that will come from knowing I attended one of the best programs in Integrated Water Management in a world-class university, where I expect to be taught by renowned lecturers, and where my classmates will be, without doubt, future water leaders.
I expect that the benefits of my studies will be felt by the communities living in the area where I am working.
I believe that with more education, valuable work experience and a better opportunity to make decisions regarding water resources management, I can be a water leader, one of the female representatives in the water sector of Kenya.