IMG 20190603 WA0015 e1559647532817 300x226The Water Research Commission ran a campus road show with Walter Sisulu University to familiarize new and upcoming project leaders with the process for research proposal submissions and related fund and project management issues.

The road show took place at the Mthatha Health Resource Centre on Tuesday and was attended by students working on water related research projects.

Prof Mthethwa, Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor said, “Thanks to the three year grant from WRC, some of our researchers are currently involved in socio-ecological research around the proposed Ntabelanga dam project. The dam is a national project of the Department of Water Affairs. The relationship between WRC and WSU maybe encored at present but the potential is enormous and we believe this road show will lay a foundation our two institutions desire.”

Water conversations were sparked to try and find solutions to the rising water challenges in the country and students and researchers were given a challenge to come up with innovative ways to save water.

Dr Mandla Msibi, WRC Group Executive, said he was happy to hear that the university is positioning itself as a university of advanced technology at research.

“I want to try to draw your attention to the fact that innovation and technology is probably our best solution for the future to the water problems we are facing. The way we have approached water management has been great until this time but from here to the future we need a different approach, we need to think differently, we need to change,” added Msibi.

He further said that maybe the experience that people had in Cape Town where the infrastructure, the dams and everything the engineers have designed could not help when there was no rain simply means that the big dams and infrastructure maybe were great until now, from now onwards people need something over and above.

Virginia Molose, WRC Research Manager, said, “We are not doing research for the sake of it, we are actually doing in order to change lives and bring solutions. The research needs to bring desirable outcomes and that is the point we are making about research that leads to innovation and research that’s leads to solutions. Only proposals that are well written that speak to research needs that get funding.”

Molose further explained the different types of funding they have and the calls they have currently for different research projects they have.

Prof Wilson Akpan, Senior Director, Directorate of Research and Innovation, said, “My experience working with WRC has been positive and affirming because it gave me a different perspective to grants management and research management out there. They are not just grants managers, they are scientists and they are doing very well that is why I have enjoyed working with them thus far.”

He further said that he wants to encourage his students to please come to their offices, that it shouldn’t just be their supervisors, they need to come and know what they do and how they can be supported and that even though they are students they need a bit of inspiration and he has a lot of that to give.

“The reason why I want to talk more to young people is that maybe for us we have thought a lot and developed what we have today, maybe you guys must stand up and do what we need for tomorrow,” said Msibi.

By: Anita Roji