Water Professionals of the Future: Chataigne Djuma Kiza
The first time I heard about the International Water Association (IWA) was from a friend in 2017. After a series of discussions, I found myself interested in the cause and decided to join the IWA connect platform in 2018. After joining the platform, my colleagues and I realized that at the level of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there was not a Young Water Professionals (YWP) chapter.
Once the chapter was created, I was nominated secretary of the youth network of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and that was the start of my apprenticeship, learning in the water sector as well as networking. The great responsibility that comes with the post helps me personally in developing a good eye for details, taking accurate notes, and sometimes dealing with the different correspondences.
Through IWA Connect, I have had the opportunity to connect with many people. I have had the chance to meet and e-connect with many African young water professionals and some others from around the globe; this has really helped me improve my understanding and knowledge on water-related problems. Young water professionals are really bustling to make a change by addressing different issues, leading as an example to protect the environment and water resources as well as solving water-related problems. The positive energy of YWPs, the willingness to learn from others, to share experience has really incited the team-working spirit in me.
I have also joined several specialist groups on IWA Connect including Agriculture, Microbial Ecology and Water Engineering, IWA Water-Wise World, YWPs, 8th World Water Forum, Groundwater Management, and some more. Through Specialist groups, I have virtually met my peers and surprisingly found a person who works in my country on an Agricultural project and was looking out for help. And since that conversation day, I am supporting Children Hope Forever Project and trying to help whenever needed. These connections are giving me experience and helping me in enhancing my skills as well as prepare myself for professional life.
So far, it has been an instructive journey where I get to work, debate with different people, and learn about the various ways water problems are being treated in different part of the world.