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 officially established in Rwanda in January 2023. 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 Rwanda chapter is open to all water professionals aged 35 or below who are enthusiastic, dedicated, and passionate about water-related issues. Here, François Xavier Tetero, Chair of YWP Rwanda, presents some key points about the chapter.
Q: What was the motivation for setting up an IWA YWP Chapter in Rwanda?
FT: Rwanda is facing serious water challenges. These mainly include water pollution, water supply shortages, floods, poor groundwater and waste management affecting both solid and liquid waste, in turn affecting the quality of water. The main motive behind setting up an IWA Young Water Professionals Chapter is to empower the YWPs to contribute in addressing the outlined water challenges in Rwanda by:
- providing a platform for young people to network and share knowledge among themselves to ensure that YWPs are well equipped with skills and knowledge that will help them in addressing water challenges in Rwanda
- connecting them with senior water professionals for career guidance and mentorship to ensure that YWP’s capacity is built and strengthened,
- developing and implementing projects on water resources management, WASH, climate change adaptation and resilience to ensure that Rwandan local communities will have access to safe, reliable, affordable water while protecting water resources.
Q: How will the chapter contribute to the empowerment of YWPs to contribute to the national water agenda of Rwanda?
FT: The Rwandan chapter will empower the YWPs to contribute to the achievement of the Rwandan National Agenda. In fact, the Rwanda YWP’s activities will be in alignment with the government water resources management plans, strategies and policies and will also contribute towards fulfilling the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the 2030 agenda. Through development and implementation of projects, the Rwandan YWP’s chapter will emphasise on the following SDGs: No poverty (SDG1), Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG6), Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG11) as well as Climate action (SDG13). In addition, the Rwanda YWP will contribute to the Law No 48/2018 of 13/08/2018 on Environment (see articles 11, 12 and 22 and 24 related to “Use of Water resources”, Water resources protection” and “Education on conservation of environment and climate change”) by ensuring that Rwanda’s water-related challenges are addressed in a sustainable way, building resilience to climate change through better water management, taking into consideration both the perspectives of youth and women, while contributing to prosperity and poverty reduction.
Q: What are your aims and objectives for your chapter, and what activities do you plan to do?
FT: The main aims and objectives of the Rwanda YWP is to address various water challenges in Rwanda through empowering Young Water Professionals (YWPs) through capacity building, knowledge sharing and offering a point of benchmark mainly focusing on water resources and environmental management, sanitation and hygiene and climate change resilience and adaptation, among others.
The main activities that we plan to do are as follows:
- Providing career guidance to YWPs by offering training and support for RYWPs interested in scholarships at Master’s and PhD levels
- Providing opportunities for YWPs to meet and share knowledge through webinars, conferences and workshops on topics related to water resources and environmental management, sanitation & hygiene, and climate change resilience & adaptation
- Providing support to the water sector in Rwanda by contributing to the development and implementation of national policies and strategies on water resources management as well as water supply and sanitation
- Developing and implementing projects that address water and environmental challenges
- Supporting IWA and YWP’s as international actors, with commitments to participate in both IWA and Specialist Group events.
Meet the founding committee of the IWA YWP Rwanda Chapter
- Core Founding Team
||François Xavier Tetero, Co-Founder & Chair
François Xavier Tetero is a Water Resources Expert with more than twelve years of experience. He is currently working with the Global Green Growth Institute and the World Bank as a consultant in the area of urban resilience.
Prior to that, he occupied various positions working for the Government of Rwanda; the latest being as the Head of Water Resources Management Department at the former Rwanda Water and Forestry Authority where he was leading the management of water resources. He is currently the chairperson of the Global Water Partnership Eastern Africa (GWPEA) and the Water Partnership-Rwanda and is a co-founder of the Rwanda Young Water Professional Chapter.
He holds a Master of Science degree in Water Resources and Environmental Management from the National University of Rwanda in collaboration with UNESCO-IHE and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the same University.
||Amandine Umukesha, Co-Founder & Vice-Chair
Ms. Amandine Umukesha is a seasoned Civil Engineer with a professional experience that includes 15 (15) years dedicated to the Water and Sanitation Sector. She currently works with the African Development Bank as Principal Water Resources Management and Development Officer, mobilising funds, supporting business delivery for sovereign operations and managing sector portfolios, Lending and Pipeline development, and strengthening partnerships.
She held different technical and managing positions in government and international organisations exercising her experience in planning, developing, and managing large and complex portfolios, fund mobilisation, utility management, institutional reforms, policy and strategy development, and in designing and developing PPP projects.
|Elisée Gashugi, Co-Founder
Elisée Gashugi’s experience includes over 15 years of academic experience, he holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Science. He is involved in eco-technology research, waste management, and surface water research activities and has initiated many national initiatives in Rwanda related to environment and climate change risks management as a researcher and consultant. Over the last nine years, he has been extensively involved in greenhouse gases inventory and has contributed to the development of key national reports and documents. Through this experience, he has also contributed to the development of climate mitigation and adaptation chapters as well as the related Monitoring, Reporting and Verification system for Rwanda. In addition, he has been extensively involved in national and international committees that developed several standards for the Water and Environment sectors and he is currently serving as the chair for the technical committee developing water and sanitation standards at Rwanda Standard Board.
||Marc Manyifika, Co-Founder
Marc is the Country Lead for Urban Water Resilience in Rwanda, and he is also the Lead Spatial Planner for the program. He works closely with the cities of Kigali and Musanze in Rwanda to coordinate and engage stakeholders to develop a water resilience action plan for both cities, based on the City Water Resilience Approach. In addition, Marc helps coordinate the relationship management, diplomacy, and strategic planning of World Resources Institute (WRI) in Rwanda.
Marc previously worked in the Ministry of Environment in the Government of Rwanda where he oversaw the policy coordination in Land, Water and Forestry. Prior to that he was involved in development of the water sector in Rwanda as one of the leading hydrologists. He has also done research across the region spanning from hydropower development, spatial analysis for water resources management, sediment fingerprinting, etc. using a combination of GIS-based tools coupled with hydrologic/hydraulic modeling.
Marc holds a MSc. in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation for WREM from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, as well as a BSc. in Water and Environmental Engineering from the College of Science and Technology at the University of Rwanda, formerly known as Kigali Institute of Science and Technology.
- Current Executive Team
|Olivier Tuyishimire, Co-Founder & Executive Secretary
Olivier has more than 7 years’ experience in rural WASH infrastructure design and implementation. He holds a master’s degree in Hydraulic Engineering from IHE-Delft, The Netherlands.
In his position as Executive Secretary, he oversees the daily activities of Rwanda Young Water Professionals by working closely with other committee members to effectively channel the interventions of the chapter.
Besides that, he works as Senior Program Manager for Water for People in Rwanda where he is in charge of implementing programs of the organisation by partnering with the national and local governments to ensure sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services.
Prior to joining Water for People, he worked in Deltares in Delft, The Netherlands, as a Water Security Junior Consultant where he was assessing water security indexes in five countries of Africa.
||Gretta Muhimpundu, Head of the Business Development Committee
Gretta is currently chairing the Rwanda YWP’s Business Development Committee which is in charge of developing, preparing and contributing to writing proposals for grant applications on climate change adaptation, environmental management, WASH and water resources management. She holds an MSc degree in Environmental Science and Engineering with a specialisation in Hydrometeorology from Ewha Womans University in South Korea. She has experience using Numerical Weather Prediction Models such as the Weather Research Forecasting Model in combination with few programming languages used in climatology and statistics such as FORTRAN, R and NCL (NCAR Command Language).
In addition, since joining the informal Rwanda Young Water Professional Group back in , she gained experience in conducting research-oriented projects in water resources management, climate adaptation and resilience, as well as project management.
||Derrick Shema, Head of Knowledge Management Committee
Derrick is currently chairing the Rwanda YWP’s knowledge management committee which is in charge of promoting knowledge sharing throughout the organisation and strengthening links between knowledge sharing and the information systems to facilitate ideas and collaboration between internal teams and external partners.
He is a junior water resources and environmental expert with more than three years of experience in hydrological assessments and environmental impact assessment. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Water and Environmental Engineering from the University of Rwanda.
On top of that he works as a water and environmental advisor at GABI Ltd where he is in charge of supplying, managing and maintaining water and wastewater.
||Aldo Muhizi, Head of Capacity Development and Career guidance Committee
Aldo Muhizi is a young aspiring hydrologist currently doing a professional internship in Water and Environmental Engineering at the National Land Authority (NLA).He oversees the capacity development and career guidance committee in charge of preparing and implementing training sessions for RYWP members as well as other relevant beneficiaries, especially students at various levels (university, high school, etc.) and also mandated to support YWP members on various scholarship opportunities to sharpen their practical skills in environmental management, especially in water resources management. He holds a BScs in Water and Environmental Engineering with experience in both spatial and non-spatial data collection and the use of hydrologic and hydraulic models in flood mapping and prediction. He has been involved in many youth initiatives in the water and environmental sector as a co-founder and coordinator of the University of Rwanda – Young Water Professionals (-YWP), as co-founder and water engineer of Kamel Manufacturing and as part of the Greenpreneurs Youth Network in Rwanda.