In March 11, 2019, the World Bank and Department of Science and Technology India exchanged MOU to implement activities related to strengthening the Africa Center of Excellence (ACEs). The details of this project can be found in the following website: https://www.iitr.ac.in/dstai/ The key activities to be implemented within two years includes: (1) PhD students to spend up to six months in Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) for research per year, (2) MSc students to spend up to six months in a year at IIT, (3) faculty from ACEs can spend a month in a year at IIT, (4) IIT faculty can spend maximum 14 days in a year, and (5) workshops/seminars. In Tanzania, only WISE-Futures centre is participating in this program, and the collaborating IITs in India are IIT Roorkee (IITR) and IIT Delhi (IITD) in the field related to water.

In the year 2020, four faculty members and five students from NM-AIST were scheduled to participate in this program at IITR and IITD. However, only two students, Mohammed Mwabumba (PhD student) and Mercy Kundu (MSc. Student; under IUCEA scholarship) were able to travel to IITD and IITR for their exchange program. The remaining three students and faculty could not travel due to COVID-19 travel restriction.

Prof. Yadav (5th from Right), Mr. Mohamed Mwabumba the (6th from Right) and other PhD scholars in Hydrology department at  Indian Institute of Technology- Roorkee (IITR).

 

Mohammed Mwabumba is a Tanzanian PhD student at the school of MEWES, specializing in Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering. The student is working on research titled “Hydrological response of water ecosystems to climate change and land cover/use changes dynamic in Ngorongoro conservation area and surrounding, Northern Tanzania”. In his study, Mr. Mwabumba aims at performing scenario analysis to analyse the hydrological response of water ecosystems to climate change and land use/cover change. The results will inform state and non-state actors on the sustainability of water ecosystems in the wildlife hotspot areas of Ngorongoro Conservation area and surroundings. The information is vital for guiding the development of water resource management plan, for sustainable water resources available for the human welfare ecosystem and climate change impact adaptation and mitigations measures.

Mohamed was at Indian IITR for six months from 6th January 2020 till June 2020. He performed his research activities at hydrology department of IITR until March when the Indian Government introduced a lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic. During the lockdown period, he worked from the hostel and used online communication systems with other colleagues and supervisor, which helped them have some discussions regarding the research activities. The lockdown was stressful but also gave some quiet time to concentrate on his research work. Mr. Mwabumba said:

                                              

                                                        ‘Despite COVID-19 I managed to complete two manuscripts and submit them to the journal for publication”

Mr. Mwabumba appreciates the collaboration between WISE-Futures centre and IITR, which helped him to accomplish a notable milestone in data analysis and write-ups. He managed to use the time to write and submit two manuscripts on climate change and land use/cover change modelling to the peer-reviewed journals for publications. He also analysed data for two more manuscripts which he expects to submit to the journals for publication by the end of 2020. The time spent at IITR was very fruitful as Mr. Mwabumba is also currently compiling his dissertation and expects to submit before the end of December 2020. This will allow him to complete his PhD study in early 2021.