Chathura Sanjeewa

Chathura Sanjeewa

Chathura Sanjeewa, Sri Lanka

I work as a Civil & Environmental Engineer to the National Water Supply & Drainage Board which is the governmental organization responsible for drinking water and sanitation in Sri lanka. I have completed Master of Science degree in Integrated Water Resources Management and also currently following M.Sc in Construction Management. At present I’m the Youth Focal Point to the Sri Lanka Water Partnership (SLWP) which is established under Global Water Partnership, I’m the Coordination officer to the Water and Climate Change Resilience Programs in Badulla District and also the team leader to Uva provincial Young Water Professionals group. I’m an Associate Member to the Institute of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) and the editor to the IESL Uva chapter. I have completed international trainings and workshops specially related to Water Safety Plans (WSP), GIS and Hydraulic modeling. Currently engaging in developing WSP to the Badulla water supply scheme, Sri Lanka.

Presentation Title: CAPACITY BUILDING FOR YOUNG WATER PROFESSIONALS (YWP): EXPERIENCE SHARING FROM SRI LANKA

Access to Safe Water Coverage in Sri Lanka at present is more than 86%. However, the uneven spatial distribution of available safe water combined with impacts of climate change have led to numerous challenges. The Sri Lanka Water Partnership (SLWP) has supported school and youth groups focusing on climate change adaptation targeting youth as significant driver of change. Capacity building for youth is undertaken with state agencies such as the National Water supply and Drainage Board, professional associations and private sector entities. In 2012 the SLWP held the first ever Young Water Professionals Symposium in Sri Lanka in order to develop a platform for understanding and harnessing the energies of youth for water security. Understanding and supporting the role of Young Water Professionals (YWPs) by giving them a platform in water management is important especially for promoting future good governance and leadership. SLWP supports formulation of youth groups in areas facing water related crises and challenges. In early 2016 SLWP and its partners formulated an YWP group for Uva province which has many landslide and drought issues. The Uva YWP group has identified the importance of YWPs in water sector under eleven themes and conducted activities such as IWRM capacity building programs, climate change adaptation programs for professionals and community groups in the area, catchment management programs and reforestation programs. Based on challenges faced by upper Ma Oya catchment after the devastating Aranayake landslide youth watch groups are being formed. Social media is being used as tool for networking. In 2017 the SLWP YWP program was expanded with a webinar conducted with technical support from TransformationFirst.Asia which brought together YWP opinions. This paper discusses the YWP experience gained and lessons learnt.

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