New IWA Young Water Professionals Chapter in Pakistan
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 Pakistan in November 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 Pakistan chapter is open to all water professionals aged 35 or below who are enthusiastic, dedicated, and passionate about water-related issues. Here, Anique Azam, Chair of YWP Pakistan, presents some key points about the chapter.
Q: What was the motivation for setting up an IWA YWP Chapter in Pakistan?
AA: in my opinion, the country’s public health and economy are suffering as a result of Pakistan’s alarming level of extreme water events. The country’s long-term security, stability, and sustainability are in danger due to the water crisis. A team of individuals with strong ideas, creative solutions, and a wide range of skill sets must be assembled in order to coordinate immediate preparation and implementation to avert this tragedy.
The goal of YWP Pakistan is to provide a structured platform for capacity building with strategic and long-term investments to support the water management reforms in Pakistan by educating and inspiring young water professionals to advance further in their water careers and giving them a platform for their career development and growth in the water sector. It will provide them with the resources they need to address the competitive needs and top priorities of the Pakistani water industry and will equip them to contribute to improved management of water resources.
Q: How will the chapter contribute to the empowerment of YWPs to contribute to the national water agenda of Pakistan?
AA: The purpose of the Young Water Professionals Chapter of Pakistan is to provide young water professionals with a variety of opportunities for growth, including a multidisciplinary programme of technical sessions, workshops, soft skill development sessions, and networking events to help them forge strong bonds with senior water professionals from both the academic and the industrial sectors so they can advance their careers at the international level and gain recognition. The chapter also believes in “Falsafa-e-Manjhi” (in Urdu) which translates into “the philosophy of the boat rower”. This philosophy nurtures the value of mentorship and the act of giving back among YWPs. IWA YWP Pakistan will oversee the long-term growth of YWPs in the water sector to make sure that no one is left behind in the process.
Q: What are your aims and objectives for your chapter, and what activities do you plan to do?
AA: The YWP Pakistan chapter’s primary goals and objectives are as follows:
Create autonomous sub-chapters around the nation, with focus on universities and other educational institutions, which can organise activities as part of a movement that spans the country and in which each member ‘owns’ the national chapter.
Occasionally publish and coordinate content on media platforms that feature the IWA brand, such as blogs, articles, columns, magazines, and social media, with the purpose of mass outreach and promoting the IWA YWP community to Pakistani young water professionals.
Create a technical and educational knowledge exchange forum and opportunities for young professionals, including seminars, conferences, and networking opportunities with local business leaders, educational authorities, and the wider IWA YWP network.
Encourage teamwork in ongoing regional activities and events in partnership with national water stakeholders, as part of the efforts aimed at strengthening the chapter and its goals. This may also include volunteering and pro-bono assistance on social responsibility initiatives.
Introduce chapter members to IWA programmes, Specialist Groups, and Communities, and encourage wider participation within utilities, industries and water-related projects in line with the chapter’s goals and values for the benefit of IWA YWPs.
Meet the founding committee of the IWA YWP Pakistan Chapter
Anique is a Ph.D. Scholar and researcher in unconventional water resources and decentralised water generation. He has worked in proximity to UN bodies, IGOs, federal and local governments, industrialists and academics, exploring the technology-governance consortium. As an engineering major, he carries intuitive thinking of the water-energy-food nexus, looks out for new inter-regional partnerships, and innovative unorthodox water resources which can complement the existing research and be used for emergency response. He is a strong advocate of youth leadership in water, and holds a proven record of youth representation at acclaimed national/international platforms. He strongly believes in peaceful transboundary water cooperation.
Qasim, Design Engineer HVAC, is an active volunteer with a demonstrated record of presiding over massive campus chapters and intra-campus media associations. He has been an integral part in the formation and support of the chapter. He is motivated to empower people to turn conflict into collaboration, and scarcity into abundance.
Muhammad Usman Khan works as Assistant Manager in one of the leading textile mills in Pakistan and is commonly confronted by water-footprint and effluent treatment policies and issues. Drawing on his prior work as a researcher in the water sector, he hopes to assist Pakistan in resolving its water scarcity issues by connecting various industries in Pakistan with the chapter.
Shifa Iqbal, Treasurer
Shifa is a mechanical and plumbing consultant working in the private sector with a research background in water. She aims to raise awareness on the importance of water sustainability. She will help the chapter as country treasurer, ensuring that chapter activities can take place for the benefit of YWPs and the environment.
Alyina Ashmi, Membership Engagement Officer
Alyina has a keen interest in urban hydrology, water equity and sustainable design. As an aspiring water resources engineer, she’s excited to join IWA YWP and play a role in driving meaningful advocacy and action on water-wise city principles in the Pakistani context. She looks forward to fostering partnerships with water professionals and contributing to high-impact solutions through the IWA YWP platform. Her volunteering portfolio includes holding the presidentship of ACI at her varsity.
Working as a Water Resources Engineer, Simra has had the opportunity to look closely at water related problems in Pakistan. Her motivation behind joining IWA YWP is to raise awareness on water, its importance and current challenges. Raising awareness about water at grassroots level is her passion and she believes that from this position, she can contribute towards the good of Pakistan — which is very important at this point considering the severe water crisis in the country.
Sami is an influential and agenda-setting student within and outside Pakistan. He believes in working towards the shared goals found in IWA YWP. He believes in building long-term social, economic and environmental resilience by learning from the lessons of previous natural disasters.
Brerah is a student in the water-resources domain. Given the increasing number of water-related challenges in Pakistan, she felt the urge to act and provide help for the country. She wants to gain individuals’ attention about this matter through her digital skills. She seeks to raise awareness, connect people and achieve a water-wise world.