Business Reporter –
MUSCAT, MARCH 24 –
MEDRC Water Research celebrated World Water Day on Thursday, March 22, with a number of activities focusing on the theme, ‘Nature for Water’, aimed at highlighting and understanding nature-based solutions to current water challenges.
Commenting on this year’s event, MEDRC Centre Director, Ciarán Ó Cuinn stated; “Each year, UN World Water Day focuses the world on the importance of water to human life, society and our environment. At MEDRC the day is always a huge event and this year is no different. From awareness-raising walkathons to academic symposia, art competitions and exciting research challenges, this will be out largest celebration yet.’
MEDRC Water Research marked the occasion with a series of events and celebrations at its headquarters, in Al Hail, Muscat. The day was split into two parts with youth water celebratory events taking place in the morning and an academic symposium reserved for the afternoon.
Janab al Sayyida Basma Fakhri al Said, Founder of Whispers of Serenity, Mental Health Advocate and Omani Woman of the Year, 2016, attended the morning’s event as Guest of Honour.
1) Walk for Water: Wheelchair bound Abdullah al Salmi accompanied renowned walker Hilmi al Kindi on 20 km walkathon.
MEDRC staff member Hilmi al Kindi is well-known in Oman for undertaking gruelling walking challenges. Each year on the occasion of world water day Hilmi sets out on an arduous journey to highlight the occasion of world water day. His route this year took him from Wadi Al Khoudh to MEDRC HQ highlighting the natural water resources present in the Sultanate such as falaj Al Sarat and the Al Khoudh recharge dam. Accompanying him on this journey was his long-time walking partner Nawaf al Suleimani and wheelchair-bound Abdullah al Salmi.
2) Student Art Competition: MEDRC organised a student art competition in collaboration with Our Planet International School and sponsored by Oman LNG. The theme of Aflaj was chosen as it was consistent with this year’s World Water Day theme while also being reflective of the important cultural significance and deep-rooted respect held in Oman for these ancient irrigation systems. MEDRC selected a winning entry and invited a group of students from the school to paint the design as a mural on the MEDRC garden wall.
3) Alumni Lecture Series: MEDRC invited two of their outstanding alumni from the MEDRC Fellowship programme to deliver a lecture on the theme topic (Nature for Water) to a distinguished audience of dignitaries and key stakeholders from Oman’s water sector.
The honour of being selected to present at this important occasion was given to Munjeda Salman (An Najah National University, Palestine) and Amal Jaradat (Jordan University, Jordan).
4) Young Oman Water Researchers Award: MEDRC announced the launch of the Young Omani Water Researchers Award for the second year running. Sponsored by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Omar Zawawi Establishment (OMZEST) the award seeks to recognize excellence in the field of water research in Oman and encourage researchers to focus their attention on water to the benefit of Oman and its population.
5) MoU Signing: A memorandum of understanding will be signed between Caledonian College of Engineering and MEDRC in the presence of Dr Ahmed Hassan al Bulushi, Dean of Caledonian College of Engineering and Ciarán Ó Cuinn, Centre Director of MEDRC.
6) Harvesting Water from Air Challenge! MEDRC is hosting the Sunglacier challenge, a global challenge to accelerate dew harvesting techniques, by Jaap Feil, Chairman of Wetskills foundation and held in conjunction with the Sultan Qaboos University.
Teams from the Netherlands and Oman will build their own devices and compete to see who can get the most water out of air within a 48-hour period starting from 10.15 am on the morning of World Water Day.