Abia Katimbo


Home Town Kampala, Uganda
Current Location Kampala, Uganda
Previous Education BSc Agricultural Engineering, Makerere University

Why did you apply for the Master of Land and Water Systems?

My passion is driven by the water and environmental challenges I see in my home country, Uganda as well as the entire Africa. Indeed, similar challenges are faced by communities in different parts of the world. The lack of access in rural and poor areas to reliable and clean water sources, as well as food insecurity, is becoming an increasingly bigger problem because most areas are prone to drought. I have had an opportunity to visit such areas in Uganda, mainly the Northern part of the country, and I saw how people are strongly affected by limate change. The weather patterns have changed and often farmers end up planting at the wrong timing in anticipation for the usual rains, but instead the crops dry out due to drought for most of the season.

The harsh climate has resulted into death of many people and their livestock due to scarcity of pastures/food and water. For such people to access water, they have to walk long distances. This made me think, well in times of excessive storm periods, what are easily implementable solutions that can be developed for such communities? Maybe by coming up with simple rainwater harvesting technologies and also techniques of supplementary irrigation of vegetables and other crops, they can improve their resilience to drought.

The issue of environmental pollution in our country is also a challenge especially in slums and areas with contaminated water bodies. Solid waste management is inadequate in slum areas and some manufacturing industries have carelessly disposed off their untreated wastewater into water bodies. The eutrophication levels are very high in Lake Victoria, which has been indicated by the water hyacinth bloom because of high contamination levels from surrounding industries.

From all these, it was a motivation for me to come back to school to do a Masters' Degree to be competitive enough to get into organizations where I will exercise my knowledge by offering solutions which will make Uganda a better place for everyone to live. The beauty I saw with MLWS is that it encompasses areas of soil, water, food and environment, making it the optimum program to best prepare me to counter the challenges we are living amidst. I am very excited that I am taking this course and I know my future is bright with MLWS.

What are you most excited about learning in the MLWS program?

My goal is to help the affected communities from challenges of Climate Change and Environmental Pollution in entire Africa. And this program strives to help students to develop solutions to problems in food, water and land resources. I believe in addition to the technical knowledge, MLWS is going to improve my communication and interpersonal skills, and I am looking forward to acquire more knowledge of how issues can be articulated and polished into a business idea. I hope to achieve skills in creative problem solving with high levels of professionalism and multidisciplinary scope applied in Land and Water Resources fields. MLWS is going to make me a competitive person in organizations looking at all this broad scope of improving standards of human life since without access to clean water and a non-polluted environment, people will always fight for their life to thrive. My overall goal however, is to build a consultancy firm with a competitive and qualified team, to be able to lobby for projects from the Government and/or International organizations having visions of ensuring safe water and improving agricultural production among people of Uganda.

What are some of your favourite hobbies?

I enjoy watching and playing soccer, going to picnics with friends, reading novels, networking and learning new cultures.