In a development that is set to transform water management at both local and national level, Midlands State University and Ben-Gurion University, an Israeli research university, are fervently working towards establishing a mutual working relationship that will see the two institutions collaborate through research and knowledge transfer to improve the livelihoods of local communities through sustainable water preservation and management.
During a visit to the University from the 25th of February to the 1st of March 2018, the Israeli delegation comprising academics and water management experts from Ben-Gurion University’s Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research (ZIWR), held a seminar for both staff and students in the Faculty of Natural Resources Management and Agriculture (NRMA) on the importance of investing in water management and preservation in a bid to transform people’s lives.
Addressing participants during the seminar, Professor Noam Weisbrod from the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research, said his delegation was keen to partner with Midlands State University to produce the next generation of water experts. In his presentation, he emphasised the need to improve water management and sanitation especially in Zimbabwe’s rural areas.
‘One of our mandates as the Zuckerberg Institute is to help create the next generation of water experts in the world and we hope that a successful partnership with Midlands State University will help us achieve this goal.
These collaborations will also produce empowered water experts who will then go on to transform the water management systems in rural Zimbabwe. Therefore, we are very happy to be part of this impending ground-breaking partnership’, said Professor Weisbrod.
Speaking during the same seminar, Professor Amit Gross, an Environmental engineering expert echoed Professor Weisbrod’s sentiments, highlighting that through collaboration, both MSU and ZIWR would facilitate the transformation of Zimbabwe’s aquaculture and water management.
‘I honestly think that Zimbabwe can benefit more from investing in aquaculture and fisheries. The resources are there but what lacks is the technical skill and equipment which this collaboration can provide,’ he said.
Commenting on the envisioned partnership, Midlands State University, Acting Dean of Natural Resources Management and Agriculture, Mr T. Madanzi was optimistic that the relationship between MSU and Ben Gurion University would empower, uplift, and inspire better learning and research systems for both institutions of higher learning to the benefit of the nation.
Ben-Gurion University’s visit also presented great opportunities and possibilities with regards to student and staff exchange programmes, collaborative research and co-supervision of student dissertations. The Israeli delegation also had a chance to tour the University’s Gwenoro Farm during their visit.
It is worth noting that the planned partnership is coming at a time when two former students from the University’s Faculty of Natural Resources Management and Agriculture are performing exceptionally well at the University of Tel Aviv in Israel, where there are enrolled for their postgraduate studies.