Yangon, 18 January 2018
Exactly two years after the first edition, the second edition of the Myanmar-Netherlands Water Challenge was launched in Yangon, Myanmar. Set against the magic scenery of the Inya Lake, many local and international organisations came together to celebrate the event. Banners of the challenge themes - Smart Port and Htee City - were presented to lecturers and students of Myanmar Maritime University and Yangon Technological University by Dutch Ambassador to Myanmar, HE Wouter Jurgens.
For the first time ever, a water challenge program features two distinct themes, reflecting two major water-related challenges for Yangon: (1) the development of a sustainable and smart sea port and (2) the development of an integrated urban water strategy. In the context of Yangon, both themes are closely connected.
During the water challenge program, students and young professionals will be given the opportunity to learn about these challenges from local and international professionals and develop their ideas and solutions. The program will be launched on campuses in February and March this year.
From 21-23 November 2016, the beautiful city of Semarang was host to the first Young City Leaders Academy to be held in Indonesia. Selected from more than one hundred applications, just 26 talented students were invited to join the three-day program, representing a rich mix of disciplines, such as urban planning, water resources management, highway engineering and architecture.
Under the theme Blue-Green Cities, the participants were challenged to develop their vision on the resilient and sustainable development of Semarang, focusing on the historic centre of Kota Lama and the Port area. A so-called Design Charrette approach was followed that encouraged participants to approach the cases from an integrated and multidisciplinary perspective and use drawing as their main form of expression.
The longstanding water collaboration between Singapore and the Netherlands was celebrated during the recent Singapore International Water Week with the publication of a special magazine highlighting the many achievements and successes of the bilateral partnership, including the Singapore-Netherlands Water Challenge.
The Singapore-The Netherlands Partnerships for Water Challenges magazine was presented on behalf of the Dutch water sector to Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State of the Singapore Ministry of Health and Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, and Peter Joo Hee Ng, Chief Executive of PUB.
The online version of the magazine can be viewe here.
The Delta Academy of the Myanmar-Netherlands Water Challenge 2016 was not to be missed in Yangon last week as a long line of orange umbrellas could be seen marching the city waterfront, port site and even the rural townships across the river. Moreover, anyone listening-in on the action indoors could have easily mistaken it for the local food market as teams were passionately bargaing their deals (note: after this week, the word polderen has been officially adopted into the Myanmar language!).
It all started on Tuesday 10 May as forty selected students and young professionals from nine universities and institutes across Myanmar came together for a 3-day intensive program to learn about sustainable delta development. Through a rich program of case studies, field trips, guest lectures and team assignments they were taken on a journey through the delta: analysing the typical challenges and opportunities of the delta, understanding the underlying drivers, weighing the interests of stakeholders and developing their own ideas and solutions.
On 29 February and 1 March, the Myanmar-Netherlands Water Challenge 2016 kicked-off with an exciting on-campus program at Yangon Technological University and Myanmar Maritime University. All together, more than a hundred students from nine universities and institutes participated in an informative and fun program, introducing the Smart Delta theme. After presentations by the program Lead Partners - Van Oord, Deltares, Arcadis, Royal HaskoningDHV and the Netherlands Embassy - the students worked on a mini "delta challenge', supported by the company experts.
The following two videos capture the highlights of each of the campus programs: