Water, Society and Climate Change

Final Conference – WaSo 2020

After seven successful years, the WaSo project organised this concluding event. The event included a two-day open international conference (15-16 December 2020). Participants shared their results and good practices with WaSo fellows, colleagues and all interested in international development of water-society-climate related issues.

For conference recordings, please follow this link

IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition 1-5 December 2019

Colombo, Sri Lanka, was the host city for the fifth IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhbition 1-5 December 2019 at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall. It brought together around 3000 participants from the water sector from 90 countries to discuss and plan for a sustainable future.

2019 #DevelopmentCongress
Photo: IWA
The programme covered 5 main topics in workshops, symposiums, forums, posters, over the course of four days

We decided to host a project meeting for the WaSo group during the congress, and participants from both WaSo Asia and WaSo Africa came together, focusing on the future of the project both in the coming year and a phase-II of the WaSo project.

WaSo Africa and Asia participants after the meeting
The current IWA Executive Director, Prof. Kala Vairavamoorthy (left), also attended the meeting and gave each partner university a certificate of membership in the IWA. In this photo Prof. Francis Mutua and Ms. Elsa Ouma received the certificate for University of Nairobi, Kenya, together with Prof. Harsha Ratnaweera from Norway
Ms Dorina Keji, Dr. Ronald Semyalo, Ms Elsa Ouma, and Prof. Mafizur Rahman
Attending the Water Harmony workshop on Wednesday 4 December
WaSo participants from Makerere University, Addis Ababa University, University of Nairobi, University of Juba, and Institute of Technology of Cambodia, attending a workshop Photo: Tone Jøran Oredalen, USN

Makerere University WaSo Writeshop

Makerere University are currently organising and hosting a WaSo writeshop for their Master students and PhD fellows. The focus is to have joint manuscripts for publication of the various work that their fellows have done so far. They were joined by their WaSo partners from University of Juba, South Sudan, and University of Nairobi, Kenya.

24 participants are attending the writeshop
Photo: Eric Tumwesigye
Photo: Eric Tumwesigye
Photo: Eric Tumwesigye
Sharing preliminary findings on the study on intersections of policy and gendered vulnerabilities to climate change impacts: Insights from Nakasongola District, Uganda
Photo: Eric Tumwesigye

Day 2: Delving into the critical reflections on the Conceptualisation and development of draft manuscripts for the Makerere WaSo fellows

Photo: Eric Tumwesigye
Photo: Eric Tumwesigye
Photo: Eric Tumwesigye
Photo: Eric Tumwesigye
Photo: Eric Tumwesigye

At the end of the Writeshop participants had manuscripts and proposals for collaborative publications ready, and will reach out to colleagues that have been suggested to be co-authors.

2019 International Water Summer School

The 2019 International Water Summer School was held at NMBU and USN 16 June – 6 July. 45 students from 12 countries participated in the course THT311 Water Resources Management and Treatment Technologies at NMBU from 17-27 June. The WaSo group left NMBU on 28 June to meet up with the WaSo PostDoc group from Bergen to participate in a course at University of South-Eastern Norway (USN) until their departure on 6 July.

The Summer School started with a conference on Sustainable Urban Drainage Solutions in Oslo, followed by an official reception in Oslo City Hall hosted by the Deputy Mayor of Oslo, Kamzy Gunaratnam. Photo: Nataly Sivchenko
Group photo from the International Dinner night where participants from each country were given the task to make traditional food from their home country. Photo: Anastasiia Nehrii
Group photo in front of the Faculty of Science and Technology (NMBU) after the Farewell dinner
Games were played after the Farewell dinner
WaSo group hiking in Telemark Photo: Tone Jøran Oredalen
Some lab work was also done Photo: Benard Mwanzia Isaiah
Planting of the WaSo tree at USN in Telemark Photo: Tone Jøran Oredalen

Lecture on Particle Removal in Wastewater – Technological Trends

On Monday 8 July 2019, Prof. Harsha Ratnaweera (NMBU) held a lecture at University of Nairobi on Particle removal in wastewater – Technological trends. The lecture was attended by about 50 people.

Poster advertising the lecture
Principal of the College of Biological and Physical Sciences, Prof. Benard Aduda presenting Prof. Harsha Ratnaweera
Prof. Harsha Ratnaweera lecturing

Lecture and supervision visit

Three staff members from University of South-Eastern Norway performed seminars and supervision visit to UoJ and UoP during the last days of January 2019. At both universities 40-60 student and staff members joined the seminars with lectures on Genetics, Water and Environmental Sciences, as well as possibilities for future collaboration and exchange. In Jaffna, UoJ also invited for a very interesting field-trip to the Jaffna lagoon and a site for sea-cucumber harvesting. After lectures at both universities, there were fruitful discussions with staff and students about ongoing and planned research, and we aim at some joint activities within environmental research and education. Three Master’s students at UoP presented their thesis work and got supervision from Sæbø and Oredalen from USN:

  • W.A.P.P Rathnayake – “Landfill leachate Treatment using combined biological and physio-chemical methods “
  • R.A.J.C Ranasinghe – “Chemically modified fly ash for removing major pollutants in Sri Lankan Groundwater”
  • G.W.H.A Chandrasiri – “Modeling of Hydraulics losses in the throttled surge tank”

Our thanks go to Prof. Sivashanthini Kuganathan and Dr. Balachandran Ketheesan at UoJ for their thorough planning and organizing during our visit to Jaffna. We are also very grateful to Prof. S.B.Weerakoon, Dr. Daham Dias and Dr. Shameen Jinadasa at UoP for all their concern, organizing and follow-up on all matters needed before and during our stay in Sri Lanka!

Students and staff at the University of Jaffna joining the seminar on selected topics.
Topics of the seminar: “Genetic diversity; principals, theory, methods and research” by Associate Professor Mona Sæbø, “Environmental DNA (eDNA) and the use of it in ecological research” Assistant Professor Tone Jøran Oredalen and a presentation of University of South-Eastern Norway and the Department of Natural Sciences and Environmental Health and “Internationalisation and student exchange – How can it work?” by Academic Advisor Anette Norheim Fredly. Mona is here demonstrating how the way we fold our arms is determined by our genes.
Dr. Easwaramohan showing us the mosquito lab and explaining about their research on the Dengue virus.
The campus of University of Jaffna
Visiting the CERL lab (Clean Energy Research Lab) funded by NORPART through a joint project between UoJ and the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.
Sea cucumber farm in the Mankumban bay of the Jaffna Lagoon, where students and staff at the UoJ conduct research and field work.
The sea cucumber farmer explaining the culturing of sea cucumbers.
Meeting with the Vice Chancellor of the University of Peradeniya to further strenghten our cooperation.
Student posters, supervision and lectures at University of Peradeniya.
The campus of the University of Peradeniya is listed as one of the ten most beautiful campuses in the world. We understand why.

Call for Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) & Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Postgraduate Research Programme – 2018 (Scholarships available) – Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Jaffna, Sri Lanka


Water and Society (WaSo) program

Water and Society (WaSo) is an institutional Capacity-Building program in Water Management and Climate Change Adaptation in Selected Countries in Asia and Africa, funded by Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED).

The University of Jaffna is a partner in this project and therefore there is a strong need to build institutional capacity within University of Jaffna to undertake policy and livelihoods relevant research on water, society and climate change adaptation from a cross-disciplinary and gender sensitive research perspective.


M.Phil. / Ph.D Research degree programs

Applications are invited from qualified persons for enrolment to Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) research programmes offered by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Jaffna in the disciplines listed below.

  1. Water Resource Management
    2. Irrigation and Water Management
    3. Water Demand Management and Social Adaptive Capacity
    4. River Basing Planning Management
    5. Economics of Water Resources Project Planning
    6. Mini Hydro Power Generation in Water Resource Projects
    7. Water Conflict Resolution
    8. Climate Resilience and Water Resource Development
  2. Water Quality and Treatment
  3. Wastewater treatment/ reuse and disposal


Eligibility requirements

Please check http://grad.jfn.ac.lk/ and the link below for more details


Medium: English



Waso project will support potential candidates with part time scholarships for MPhil and PhD programs and the scholarship opportunities are available throughout the year. Special scholarships are available for candidates from marginalized groups and female candidates.


For details, please contact

Dr. B. Ketheesan, Coordinator of WaSo Project of University of Jaffna

(Tel: +94 777194463, e-mail: kethees@eng.jfn.ac.lk )


Mr. Saliya Sampath, Secretary of WaSo Project of University of Jaffna

(Tel: +94 776993908, email: saliya@eng.jfn.com )

Seminar on Modern Water Supply Systems organized by the UoP on 7th April 2018

Seminar on Modern Water Supply Systems organized by the NORAD WaSo-Asia Project was successfully held on 7th April 2018 at the Hotel Kandyan Arts Residency, Peradeniya, Sri Lanka under the patronage of resource persons from the University of Peradeniya and Tetr-Tech Inc, USA.

The seminar was attended by about 75 participants ( 40% females) comprising of university academic staff of UoP and UJF, practicing engineers and managers in water supply sector, postgraduate students, research students and few undergraduate students.

This event was financially availed with the budgetary allocations under workshops, seminars as a dissemination activity of the NORAD WaSo-Asia project.

The seminar was opened by the welcome speech delivered by Prof.S.B.Weerakoon , followed by an address by the Head/Civil Engineering of the University of Peradeniya. The resource persons from Tetra-Tech and UoP shared their experiences with participants under the main topics of Water Supply and Treatment Status in Sri Lanka, Project Planning and Management, Design of Water Treatment Plants – Package Systems and their relative merits, Water Treatment & Process Engineering and Performance Management -Construction, CSU, O&M. The lectures delivered by the experienced practitioners were followed by active discussion sessions. The notes and the pdf files of presentations were shared among the participants. The seminar was extremely beneficial to the participants.  

Joint WaSo Africa/Asia Meeting in Ethiopia Nov 2017

From 14 November to the 19th participants from WaSo Africa and WaSo Asia gathered in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia for the second joint Annual project meeting. The meeting began with a 1-day seminar at Addis Ababa University, at which Dr. Jeilu Oumer, AVP and President responsible at the university and Prof. Yacob Atito welcomed the partners of the project at the university. Prof. Edward Kirumira followed with a presentation on “Strengthening water sector capacities and competences in Africa”. Prof. S.B. Weerakoon then talked about Synergies in South-South water partnerships, before Prof. Tore Sætersdal presented “Efforts to unite and consolidate efforts for better and fair water management”.

After the formal opening, the seminar then split into two parallel sessions. One focused on Social and political sciences, while the other focused on Engineering sciences and technology.

Social and political sciences presentations:

  • Shared waters and riparian governance, Dr. Yacob Arsano, AAU.
  • Water and establishment of colonial stations in Kenya, Dr. Mary Mwiandi, UoN.
  • Water, climatic change adaption and gender: Thematic Tool for Institutional Analysis, Dr. Dauda Batega, MAK.
  • Water and social development, Dr Aberathne Rathnayake, UoP.
  • Lake Eutrophication and restoration – Socio economical aspects, Dr. Tone Jøran Oredalen, USN.
  • Urban flood conditions in Phnom Penh: the citizen’s experiences, Dr. Sokchhay Heng, ITC.
  • The ancient hydraulic civilization at Deduru Oya river basin, Sri Lanka, Saliya Sampath, UJF.
  • Water Logging and Impact on Traffic in Dhaka City, Dr. Md. Mizanur Rahman, BUET

Engineering and technological presentations

  • Integrated Water Management: the Case of Addis Ababa, Dr Agizew Nigussie, Addis Ababa Institute of Technology, AAU.
  • Climate change impacts on water, Prof. S.B. Weerakoon, UoP.
  • Land use, land cover changes of Dhaka Eastern region and its impact on water cycle, Prof. Md. Mafizur Rahman, BUET.
  • Water pollution management for a sustainable water use, Dr. Gemunu Herath, UoP.
  • (Mis)use of our scarce water resources, Prof. Francis Mutua, UoN.
  • Water circularity, Dr. Zakhar Maletskyi, NMBU
  • Freshwater harvesting by continuous flushing of mainland rivers, Dr. S. Sivakumar, UJF.
  • The Link between stream orders and the Amharic Language, Dr. Azage G. Gebremariam, Ethiopian Institute of Water resources.

The project group then travelled to the beautiful Bishoftu, where the project meeting commenced. A number of administrative and financial issues were discussed, and new tasks and responsibilities were assigned. Preparations for the WaSo Africa annual meeting with NORAD in Uganda was also a part of the meeting agenda.

The participants of the project meeting in Ethiopia wants to thank the partners at AAU for organizing the fruitful meeting!

Joint WaSo Asia and WaSo Africa Annual Meeting with Norad 1st – 4th July 2017

WaSo Asia annual meeting was held from 1st to 4th July at the University College of Southeast Norway in Bø in Telemark, followed by the annual progress meeting with Norad in Oslo.

The main issues of the meeting were:

  1. Administrative issues and follow up of the reporting for FY2016.
  2. Updating status and activity plan, and reviewing the outcomes and outputs of the projects.
  3. Summer school, fellowships and supervision training
  4. E-learning
  5. Curricula development

During the meeting, 2 sessions of training on how to become an ideal supervisor was conducted by Professor in mental health at USN Robert Bongaard. During these sessions we had the opportunity to go through the supervision guidelines made by the project, and got valuable inputs for a second version of these guidelines.

All the secretaries also had a joint secretary meeting during our time in Bø, where joint challenges and best practices were discussed. This is the first time all secretaries from both WaSo Asia and WaSo Africa met in person.

While the coordinators and some of the secretaries attended the meeting with Norad in Oslo, the Post Docs and the rest of the secretaries had a guided tour in Oslo, before joining the rest of the group for dinner in the evening.

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