Water, Society and Climate Change

Page 2 of 3

WaSo Africa and WaSo Asia Summer School at USN and NMBU in Norway 2017

During the three weeks from June 18 to July 8, 2017, the best students from Bangladesh, Belarus, Germany, Canada, Kazakhstan, China, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, USA, Tajikistan, Uganda, Ukraine, South Sudan, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Japan participated in the international summer school “Water Harmony” in the framework of the project “Water and Society”.

This year we set a record with 66 participants! Organizers believe the unification of young water professionals from different parts of the world brings unique fruits: from the establishment of intercultural dialogue to joint scientific work in the future.

The students attended the course of THT-311 (Water Resources Management and Treatment Technologies) at NMBU. In being acquainted with modern and high-tech enterprises, an excursion was organized to the Lillestrøm drinking water treatment plant, showing the needs of Oslo city in Norway. At the end of the summer school at NMBU, the participants took the exam. The examination commission consisting of teachers from NMBU and teachers from other countries under the guidance of Professor Harsha Ratnaweera.

At USN, the WaSo students followed a 5 ECTS course, 4330 “Water Quality Challenges”, with a working load of 150 hours in total. The course covered the following topics: Ecotoxicology, Groundwater, Cyanobacteria – ecology, toxins and health concerns and Ecological Purification Technology. All students delivered the mandatory assignment within due time in August. The students will receive a transcript of records and a Diploma from USN/WaSo-project.

The closing of the summer course was a festive ceremony in one of the oldest NMBU’s auditoriums, where high-ranking guests gave motivational and inspirational speeches. Graduate students and students at NMBU prepared the festive closure dinner, which marked the end of the 2017 Summer School at NMBU and USN.

The project participants wish all the best to graduates of “International Water and Society Summer School” and invite to follow the news at our Facebook page.

Joint WaSo Africa and WaSo Asia Meeting with Norad in Uganda, 4th – 8th November 2016

WaSo Africa annual meeting was held from 4th to 8th of November at the Imperial Resort Hotel in Entebbe and the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala, Uganda. The meeting was hosted by Prof. Edward Kirumira from Makerere University and Prof. Yacob Atito from Addis Ababa University.

The main issues for the meeting were:

1. Review of the Narrative report, Implementation plan, accounts and budget.
2. Workshop on supervision
3. Group work on achieving WaSo KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
4. Detailed plan for the next 6 months
5. Project management tools

WaSo Africa and WaSo Asia Summer School 2016 at NMBU and USN in Norway

9 students from the WaSo partner universities have together with 17 students from the Water Harmony II project attended the intensive course on Water Supply System and Water Management at HSN and NMBU 25th June – 16th July 2016, organized through the WaSo project.

At NMBU the students attended the course THT-311 “Water Resources Management and Treatment Technologies”, and also attended an additional course of lectures at the University College of Southeast Norway (USN, Bø, Telemark). Each student had the opportunity to work with modern analytical equipment. In addition, they worked with programs for modeling water treatment systems.

At the end of the course, the students prepared team projects dedicated to the modernization of the existing water treatment plants, which was defended in front of colleagues and teachers.

University of Jaffna selects ArcGIS for teaching GIS

University of Jaffna March 2017 DFT-6-91

Photo: Daily FT, 16 March 2017

Sri Lanka’s national daily business paper, the Daily FT (www.ft.lk) reported on 16 March 2017 that the University of Jaffna’s Engineering Faculty at Kilinochchi has selected ArcGIS for teaching GIS.

GIS Solutions collaborated with the University of Jaffna in conducting a workshop focused on introducing GIS into the government institutions of the Jaffna District.  A key resource person from GIS Solutions, Thillai Nadarajan  (with more than 25+ years’ experience in teaching on the ArcGIS Platform), took part in this WaSo-financed knowledge-sharing event.

Link to full news article

Third WaSo Workshop on Introduction to GIS using ArcGIS

This workshop will be held as a 2-day training course at the University of Jaffna, 20-21 March 2017. Please send your application through your head of institution to: wasojaffna@gmail.com

REGISTRATION FORM and POSTER can be downloaded here. Registration deadline: 10 March 2017 (free of charge)

Venue: Department of Civil Engineering, University of Jaffna, Ariviyal Nagar, Kilinochchi

waso workshop3 20-21 march 2017

MAKERERE workshop on water resources management

On 21st March, 2016, water and environment experts met at Makerere University to deliberate on emerging issues and technologies in wastewater treatment, water supply and water governance. The workshop brought together academia, water resources managers, environment managers, civil society and service providers in the water sector. The main objective of the workshop was to set an agenda and build themes around issues of wastewater treatment, water governance and trans-boundary resources for further collaboration.



The workshop is an annual activity of the five-year Water and Society (WaSo) project aimed at building institutional capacity in water management and climate change adaptation in selected countries of Asia and Africa. The project is funded by the Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development (NORHED) and it involves eleven partner universities including Makerere University (Uganda), University of Nairobi (Kenya), Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), University of Juba (South Sudan), University of Paredenia and University of Jaffna (SriLanka), Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology, Institute of Technology Cambodia, University of Bergen (Norway), Norwegian University of Life Sciences and the UniversityCollege of Southeast Norway (USN).

At the meeting, the Principal Investigator, Prof. Edward K. Kirumira, briefed participants on the project’s objectives, activities and achievements thus far. He said the project had so far awarded four postdocs, 2 PhDs and 7 MA fellowships in water resources related programmes. He underscored the importance of building capacity in water resources programmes saying the country was in dire need of water experts.

Prof. Kirumira is the Principal Investigator

Prof. Kirumira is the Principal Investigator


Prof. Kirumira is the Principal Investigator

Prof. Kirumira noted that urbanization and population growth were complicating water supply and wastewater management.  “Urbanization and rapid population growth have resulted into water shortage hence the need for wastewater treatment to increase supply. It is however getting harder to set up large water treatment plants due to limited space as a result of urbanization and population growth,” he explained. He said there was need to take stock of innovations that countries can use to preserve water.


Addressing participants, Prof. Hannington Oryem-Origa who represented the Vice Chancellor said the challenges of dealing with wastewater were growing exponentially. He however reiterated that the challenges could be turned into opportunities by using appropriate technologies and policies. “It takes a concerted effort of the government, private sector and academia to build the required human and institutional capacity to act as a driving force that will maintain the momentum of adaptation to such emerging challenges.


Prof. Hannington Oryem-Origa, Chair NIDIC

Prof. Hannington Oryem-Origa, Chair NIDIC

The primary goal of the NORHED projects (13 in total at Makerere University) is to do just that. I appeal to all stakeholders, especially National Water and Sewerage Cooperation, NEMA, the civil society and private sector to cooperate and support our researchers by providing concrete facts on the issues being investigated to enable them effectively address the challenges in training and research within the scope of the theme of this workshop,” he said.

He expressed gratitude to the Norwegian government for supporting research, capacity building programmes and infrastructural development at Makerere University. Prof. Oryem is the Chair of the NORHED Institutional Development Committee (NIDIC).

Prof. Harsha Ratanaweera was the Keynote Speaker

Prof. Harsha Ratanaweera was the Keynote Speaker

The workshop featured a keynote address on Technology trends in water and wastewater treatment” by Prof. Harsha Ratanaweera from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. In his remarks, Prof. Harsha noted that 90% of the world’s GDP depends on water. The world GDP stands at 77.6 trillion USD. He said 70% of the world is covered with water but only 3% fresh and less that 0.007% easily accessible for humans. With those statistics, he advised that there was need to invest in cheaper technology to harvest, treat and  preserve water.

Dr. Herbert Mpagi Kalibbala from the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology, Makerere University called for a change in people’s attitudes in water use and management. He said there was need for political will and a decentralized system of wastewater treatment to mitigate the challenges.

In his presentation titled; “Waste Water Resource Recovery and Reuse (WW-RRR): Institutional/Stakeholders Feasibility Assessment in Uganda”. Dr Daudi Batega noted that there are gaps in the regulatory framework concerning WW-RRR. “Whereas, there are policy and legal instruments for the discharge and collection of human waste, there are no clear and express provisions for the use of WW and faecal sludge products,” he explained.

The workshop was officially closed by the Deputy Director, Directorate of Research and Graduate Training, Prof. David Owiny,  who emphasized the importance of water and the need to minimize wastage.

– See more here

WaSo Africa semi-annual meeting 2015

WaSo Africa semi-annual meeting was held from 6th to 10th of October at Hotel Boulevard in Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting was hosted by Prof. Francis Mutua and Dr. Mary Mwiandi who are WaSo Africa coordinators from University of Nairobi. The opening session was honored by the presence of the Vice Chancellor of University of Nairobi, Prof. H. Mutoro.

img_3522      img_3524

Seminar lectures

Back-to-back seminars for students and staff were conducted both on the first day, 6th of October and second day, 7th of October.

The seminar lecture: Impact of climate change on water supply and wastewater management, was held by Prof. Harsha ratnaweera (NMBU).


The seminar lecture: Politics on/along the river Nile, was held by Dr. Tore Saetersdal (UiB). The seminar lecture: Hydropolitics in North Eastern Africa, was held by Dr. Yacob Arsano (AAU).

img_3531      img_3527

WaSo training program, University of Jaffna 2015

Training Program on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in Northern Province of Sri Lanka

There are emerging problems associated with water resources planning, development and management in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka with the accelerated development work after the end of conflict. This program was conducted from 18th to 22nd September 2015, at the training center of the Faculty of Agriculture, University Jaffna located in Kanagarayankulam.


Integrated water resources management is one of the approaches in order to address these complex issues. In this context, it is vital to impart new knowledge to those who are working in the water and associated sectors in the Northern Province. With this objective, a five day residential training program was jointly organized by the Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Agriculture of University of Jaffna and Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture, University of Peradeniya. The training program was fully sponsored by the CapNet-Lanka and WaSo Project.


Resource persons were from Sri Lanka and abroad. Prof. Harsha Rathnaweera, Prof. Tore, Prof. Mafizur Rahman, Dr. Sivakumar and Dr Thushyanthi Mikunthan, delivered lectures from WaSo project side. Prof. Nimal Gunawardena, Prof. M.I.M. Mowjood, Dr S. Pathmarajah, Dr. Punyawardena, Dr Weragoda, Dr A. Karunarathna and Mr R.S. Wijesekera delivered lectures from CapNet side. Altogether there were 35 participants attending from various universities and industries. They have visited Iranamdu water supply scheme and Iranamdu RARDC farm as field visit during the workshop. Dr Thushyanthi Mikunthan, Dr. S. S. Sivakumar and Prof. Nimal Gunawardena were coordinators of the workshop.

WaSo workshop, University of Jaffna 2015

Workshop on Water Conflicts Resolution, Treatment & Desalination

Department of Civil engineering, University of Jaffna organized a successful workshop on water conflicts resolution, treatment and desalination on 18th and 19th of April 2015 Workshop covered research areas of reverse osmosis, water treatment, conflict resolution, climate change and resilience of water bodies and few more related to water. This workshop was funded by the WaSo project.


They received more than 185 applications for the workshop from different people such as engineers, researchers and scientists from industry and academic field, university undergraduates and postgraduates in the fields of Engineering, Agriculture and Sciences. Out of them 75 participants were selected according to their qualifications. Majority participated was from University of Jaffna and University of Peradeniya. Following resource persons enlightened the event and Vice Chancellor of University of Jaffna was the chief guest of the inaugural session of the workshop.


  • Prof. Harsha Rathnaweera, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway.
  • Prof. Tore Sætersdal, Telemark University College, Norway.
  • Prof S.B. Weerakoon, University of Peradeniya.
  • Dr. A. Atputharajah, Acting Dean, Faculty of Engineering, University of Jaffna.
  • Dr. S.S. Sivakumar, Head/Civil, University of Jaffna.
  • Dr. S. Balakuamar, Dean/ Medicine, University of Jaffna.
  • Dr. S.J. Arasakesari, Additional Director, Regional Agriculture Research and Development Center, Kilinochchi.
  • Eng. D.S. Sampath, Lecturer/Civil, Faculty of Engineering, University of Jaffna


Participants visited Iranamadu water supply scheme and Iranamdu Agricultural research farm during the workshop as field visits. Workshop coordinated by Eng. Saliya Sampath, Lecturer/Civil, Faculty of Engineering, University of Jaffna. Miss. Janaki Kanagarajah, Mrs.Anusha Sivaneswaran and few other students work as organizing committee of the workshop.

WaSo Asia semi-annual meeting 2015


WaSo Semi-Annual Meeting was held from 19th to 20th September 2015 at Tilko City Hotel, Jaffna. Professor Vasanthy Arasaratnam, Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna participated as the chief guest. Prof. Harsha Ratnaweera, Prof. Tore Sætersdal and Miss. Anne Gry represented the Norwegian partners. Two professors attended from Bangladesh and Cambodia. Prof. S.B. Weerakoon and five others attended from University of Peradeniya. Prof. G. Mikunthan, Dean/Graduate studies, Dr. A. Atputharajah, Dean/Engineering, Prof. Meena Senthilnanthanan, Professor from Department of Chemistry, Dr. (Ms) L. D. Rajasooriyar, Senior Lecturer Department of Geography, Eng. T. Thiruvarudchelvan attended the meeting. Dr. S.S. Sivakumar, Coordinator, WaSo Asia project of University of Jaffna, Eng. Saliya Sampath and Ms. J.C. Aravintharaj, project assistants, WaSo Asia project of the University of Jaffna organized the meeting. Eng. Saliya Sampath was the Coordinator / WaSo Asia Second Semi-annual Meeting.

It was one of the successful events organized by Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, University of Jaffna through WaSo project. The progress and way forward of this project was discussed at the meeting.

« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2022 WASO

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑