The SADC Groundwater Management Institute (SADC-GMI) is implementing the World Bank funded Sustainable Groundwater Management in SADC Member States project. As part of the World Bank funding, SADC-GMI is implementing the ‘Capacity Building on Groundwater Data Collection and Management in SADC Member States (SADC Groundwater DataCoM) project, and to that end has contracted the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC – Netherlands) and the Institute for Groundwater Studies (IGS), University of the Free State to implement the project on their behalf.
As part of the SADC Groundwater DataCoM project, two young professionals from each SADC Member State have been engaged, as well as students from the Institute for Groundwater Studies at the University of the Free State. The purpose of engaging young professionals is to capacitate them on relevant aspects of groundwater data and information management, whilst at the same time exposing them to international cooperation and allowing them to build a network of groundwater professionals.
As part the project two training workshops are conducted as part of capacity development for the Young Professionals. The first training/workshop was conducted in May, Bloemfontein, South Africa, where Young Professionals presented the progress of their first assignment to the project team and received training focussed at groundwater data collection.
From 19 – 23 November SADC-GMI will be hosting the 2nd Young Professionals training and Senior Groundwater Officials workshop in Pretoria, South Africa. The five day event will be divided into three segments, the first three days (19 – 21) will be dedicated to training for Young Professionals, on the fourth day the Senior Officials will join and the young Professionals will present progress on their 2nd assignments, while the last day (23) will be dedicated to Senior Officials.
In the beginning of the Groundwater DataCom project, Young Professionals were given assignments relating to data collection and data management in their respective countries. One of the objectives of the upcoming workshop is to allow them to present progress on their second assignment and also solicit feedback from the project team from International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC) and the Institute for Groundwater Studies (IGS). In the first 3 days, the Young Professionals will receive training on many different aspects of data collection and management, including training on the use of open source and free GIS software.
Apart from the Young Professionals, this coming training/workshop will also include a two day session for the Senior groundwater Officials who are responsible for Groundwater Monitoring and/or Groundwater Data Management in their respective countries. Senior Officials were nominated through the SADC-GMI Focal Person in each Member State, and were nominated based on their experience in groundwater issues in their respective countries.
The Training/Workshop will be facilitated by the International Groundwater Assessment Resources Centre (IGRAC) and the Institute for Groundwater Studies (IGS), who are implementing the project on behalf of the SADC-GMI.
This is the last training/workshop where Young Professionals involved in the Groundwater DataCom project will get to meet and exchange ideas and experiences on data collection and management from their respective countries.