New IWA Young Water Professionals chapter in Nepal
As part of IWA’s mission to empower Young Water Professionals to contribute to sustainable water management, a new IWA Young Water Professionals (IWA YWP) chapter was established in Nepal in March 2022.
This IWA YWP chapter will be the country’s go-to network boosting connections for YWPs and a platform to support equal opportunities and quality career development. As a voluntary network, the Nepal chapter is open to all water professionals aged 35 or below who are enthusiastic, dedicated, and passionate about water-related issues. Here, Anish Ghimire, Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering based in Kathmandu and Chair of YWP Nepal, presents some key points about the chapter.
Q: What was the motivation for setting up an IWA YWP Chapter in the country?
Anish Ghimire: Being a landlocked and mountainous country, Nepal suffers from many water-related challenges. The biggest water challenges affecting the Nepalese population are water scarcity and unsafe drinking water in some areas, and most importantly sanitation-related issues throughout the country. According to WaterAid, Nepal ranked third among a list of countries making the biggest improvements in sanitation, and nine in ten people now have clean water. However, the progress rate has been too slow to meet the 2030 Agenda and SDG targets. Hence, it’s high time that we bring innovation and make changes to conventional approaches to development. This requires a platform where ideas and knowledge can be exchanged and where we can offer opportunities for capacity building through networking and connections.
As YWPs, connected through different activities in research and consulting, we realise that IWA’s YWP engagements in Nepal can bring us and future YWPs more opportunities for professional development, knowledge-sharing and networking. We are motivated to establish an IWA YWP Nepal chapter to enhance IWA’s presence in the country. This will enable all Nepali water professionals to connect, create and motivate each other through YWP and IWA activities at national, regional and global level. Besides, this chapter will also provide more insights to our prospective members into the benefits of being an IWA member.
Q: How will the chapter contribute to the empowerment of YWPs to contribute to the national water agenda of Nepal?
AG: The YWP Nepal chapter aims to bridge the existing gap between emerging innovations and research and actual implementation in the national water agenda. Thanks to its global network and reputation, IWA will help us involve water industry experts, policymakers and the private sector to provide their expertise to Nepali young water professionals and find ways to influence the national agenda for a water-wise future.
Q: What are your aims and objectives for your chapter, and what activities do you plan to do?
AG: The goal of the Nepal Chapter is to establish a platform for knowledge exchange, capacity building, networking and collaboration among water sector professionals. YWPs will not only have the opportunity to connect with national and international leading experts in the water sector and therefore expand their networks, but they will also benefit from knowledge-sharing and professional development activities through webinars, workshops, and technical site visits and other initiatives that we are planning to organise. The objective of the IWA YWP Nepal Chapter is to create inclusive opportunities for young Nepali water professionals through:
- Professional development, by connecting YWPs with experts in the field of water
- Knowledge sharing and capacity development by developing an interdisciplinary network with young participants from different water-related areas for knowledge and skills transfer
- Networking by creating contacts between YWPs and policymakers, planners, practitioners and academia.
Meet the founding committee of the IWA YWP Nepal Chapter
Anish Ghimire, Chair of the Nepal YWP Chapter
In his current role of Assistant Professor at the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Dr Ghimire teaches courses related to Water and Wastewater Engineering. His research interest is in biological processes for waste(water) treatment and resource recovery, anaerobic fermentation, Sustainable WASH and Life Cycle Assessments. Dr Ghimire, an engineer registered by the Nepal Engineering Council, has authored several publications in international peer-reviewed journals and book chapters. He has been an IWA member since 2016.
Amrita Gautam, Vice-Chair
Amrita Gautam is a Civil Engineer from Institute of Engineering (IOE), Nepal, pursuing her doctoral research (final phase) in Technical University of Cologne, Germany, with special focus in Hydro-Informatics: Water Supply Engineering and Management, having work experiences from various ‘United Nations (UN) Organisations and Research Projects’ in Nepal, Germany, Mozambique, Brazil, Canada & USA. As a Young Water Professional, Amrita has been involved in World Youth Parliament for Water; International Water Association; Soroptimist International; Youth for the Rhine; and Girls in Tech – Nepal. She was awarded with ‘Women with Vision 2018’, received Soroptimist International of Europe (SIE) Scholarship Award in 2019 and got selected as an Ambassador of Rising Smart Water Professionals (RiSWP/SWAN) in 2021. Her ongoing doctoral research is about “Water Supply and Quality Monitoring via Emerging Technologies”, and the case study area is Pokhara Metropolitan City (PMC), Nepal. She has founded a research initiative – drinkPani (www.drinkpani.net), which refers to ‘Drinking Water Information Kit’ and believes in ‘Shaping Digital Water Future’ and now doing internship in Global Water Operator’s Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA/ UN-Habitat), Bonn, Germany.
Isha Basyal, Secretary
Isha Basyal is a skilled and motivated sanitation professional with over seven years of experience in the field of faecal sludge management, non-sewered sanitation and citywide inclusive sanitation. She has extensive experience working with governments, development partners and international financing institutes in planning and designing CWIS projects. Besides, she has also led the team in the development and dissemination of the Faecal Sludge Management Toolbox with Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. As a certified WASH trainer, she has trained over 250 planners, consultants and sector professionals from South Asia, South East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa on FSM and the Toolbox. With the background in engineering, she holds a Master’s degree in Water Resources Engineering and Management from Stuttgart University, Germany. She is a passionate learner and enjoys interactions with people from different walks of life.
Sabita Adhikari, Networking and Growth Coordinator
Sabita is currently a Ph.D. student under humanitarian engineering at the University of Sydney, Australia. Her research focuses on identifying pathogen flow pathways and quantifying the risk of microbial pathogens associated with onsite sanitation systems in developing countries. She obtained her master’s degree in Sanitary Engineering from IHE Delft, the Netherlands in 2019. She has extensive work experience within the WASH sector in Nepal. She is keen to have meaningful collaboration and conversations with water professionals around the globe.
Utsab Phuyal, Events Coordinator
Utsab is a Young Water Professional with a civil engineering background. He graduated from the University of Moratuwa with a Master’s degree in Water Resources Engineering and Management. His research interest spans catchment water modelling, climate change studies, and hydrologic and hydraulic modelling. His thesis was focused on modelling streamflow variability using satellite soil moisture in different climatic zones in Sri Lanka. He is currently looking for new opportunities to contribute his knowledge and experience for the development of the water sector in the country.
Sheila Dangol, Communication Officer
Ms. Sheila Dangol is an Environmental and Sanitation Engineer. She graduated in Environmental Engineering from Kathmandu University, Nepal and obtained her master’s degree in Water Resources and Environmental Management from Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany. She has more than 4 years of working experience in the water, sanitation and energy sector in Nepal. Currently, she is working at Aquatic Ecological Centre, as a research associate in the project “Sanitation and Climate: Assessing Resilience and Emission (SCARE)”. The research-based project aims at developing and applying methodologies to quantify greenhouse gas emission from onsite sanitation units and evaluating the climate resilience of the sanitation system. She has keen interest in the possibility of resource recovery through integrated wastewater treatment process, solid waste management and environmental sustainability.
Salil Raj Aryal, Membership Coordinator
Mr Salil Raj Aryal is a Civil Engineer registered by the Nepal Engineering Council with a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering, with a specialisation in Water Resources Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IITB), under a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). During his studies at IITB, he also attended the summer school at the University of Frankfurt. His Master’s research focused on Water Quality Modelling of a sub-catchment in Bagmati River using QUAL2K. He participated in the 2021 Virtual Atlantic and Eastern Canadian Symposium on Water Quality Research. He is currently working as a Senior Civil Engineer at Silanyas Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd., on hydropower development projects in Nepal. He has been involved in the hydropower sector since 2016. He is currently acting as Project Coordinator in the Thulokhola Hydropower project, a site with an installed capacity 21.30 MW. As a researcher at at Institute for Integrated Hydro Environment Research, Mr Aryal’s research is focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).