The Delta Academy of the Myanmar-Netherlands Water Challenge 2016 was held in Yangon last week.
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 three-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, analyzing the typical challenges and opportunities of the delta, understanding the underlying drivers, weighing the interests of stakeholders and developing their own ideas and solutions.
Under the Smart Delta theme, participants worked in four teams, representing key stakeholders in the delta: Smart Port, Smart River, Smart City and Smart Village.
Throughout the program, the teams were supported by eight senior experts from the Dutch partners: Johan Kabout and Tanya Huizer from Arcadis, Hanne van den Berg from Deltares, Mark van der Hoeven and Barbara Malecka from Van Oord, Eisse Wijma en Thet Oo Mon from Royal HaskoningDHV and Aung Myint Oo from the many local experts, such as Dr. Toe Aung, Director Urban Planning of the Yangon City Development Committee.
The teams presented their ideas and solutions on the big stage to senior representatives from ministries, NGO’s, universities, World Bank, WHO, local private companies and Myanmar Port Authority.
As each team took the stage to pitch their ideas, they were interrogated and judged by a panel of distinguished experts, consisting of Mrs. Carola Baller, Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands Embassy (chair of the panel), Dr. Zaw Lwin Tun, Director Irrigation Department, Dr. Myo Nyein Aye, Deputy General Manager Myanmar Port Authority, U Khin Latt, Senior Engineer NEPS and U Bobby MG, CEO Network Activities Group (NAG). Ultimately, they announced the Smart River team as the winning team.
The Delta Academy is the highlight of the Myanmar-Netherlands Water Challenge program, following the Launch Event on 18 January at Yangon Technological University and the Campus Program in February/March.