Health Interview - Prof. Steinmetz.

by Johanny Arilexis Perez Sierra on 20th January, 2012 at 1:57 PM CEST

In order to have a better idea of the potential of developing countries to engage its youth population in topics of sanitation, and how to bring feasible technologies from good results in developed countries, on December 16th, 2011; it was held an interview with Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heidrun Steinmetz, who is the Chairholder for Sanitary Engineering and Water Recycling at Institute for Sanitary Engineering, Water Quality and Waste Management (ISWA) a pioneering institute in this issue in Germany and Europe. But also, Prof. Steinmetz is my Professor of Wastewater Technology at University of Stuttgart, thus is a pleasure having the opportunity to get her insights in this matter and bringing you fresh ideas to tackle waste water related problems, specially in developing countries.

1. How to make accessible waste water treatment technologies to developing countries?

From my focus, in the research area, at the moment to transfer any technology, it is very important to consider climate conditions, cultural aspects and organizational management in the local communities for the waste water treatment technologies and its maintenance. Experiences working in international projects, have shown that local Universities should be involved , because being foreigners, it becomes relevant to have common research and local administration in the countries abroad. Then, it can be developed technologies regarding to each conditions. Besides adapting the technology, it should be inserted per modules, integrating local people, and having “flexible systems”, so communities see the insertion of new technologies as part of a process. “It is not sufficient to have Know how, financial means, and appropriate infrastructures for water supply and waste water disposal, it will inevitably fail if not accompanied with efficient organizational structures”.

Picture: Johanny (right), our C:F Action Team, Health Saviour in the midst of the interview with Prof. Steinmetz.(left).

2. How can youth be linked in the promotion of sanitation, waste water management and development?

Being realistic, it should be considered that this subject is not so appealing to young people, but then, it is a responsibility of decision makers and those involved with the educational sector on each country, to raise awareness among the population regarding the relevance of having a clean environment and waste water treatment facilities. If starting from Kinder Garden, then, it is possible to think on a new generation of more committed youth in the sector of sanitation. Young people can be creative and help to develop new technologies, and after a solid formation help to identify solutions in this matter; also, considering that different backgrounds offer an opportunity to see several approaches that can be feasible to particular conditions. If it is shown to the population the beauty of nature versus the impact that might be caused on it and on health due to low sanitary strategies, with time, people will start changing their behaviors. Young generation will be better educated partly abroad, and can contribute significantly to the implementation of better and more sanitation in their home countries.

What's Next?

This is surely not the end of this Interview. Look out for the Health Saviours, Action Team #7's Combined Report in February 2012 when we will reveal all the rest of the interview by all other Action Team members as well!

~Johanny from Dominican Republic, C:F Action Team #7, Health Saviours

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I really loved your topic and its something that I really relate to. Unclean water causes guinea worm, cholera and dysentry and it is mostly affected by people in the villages due to inaccessibility to safe and portable water for drinking.

20th January, 2012 @ 7:11 PM CEST

Johanny Arilexis Perez Sierra

Johanny Arilexis Perez Sierra | Action team

Thank you Kedei!! in the full report you will have more details regarding this interview. I am sure it will be of your interest. Regards. ;)

21st January, 2012 @ 1:27 PM CEST

Jatin Kataria

Jatin Kataria | Action team | CF Chapters

concern in lot many developing & under developed countries..

I am sure she faced lot many challenges while implementing projects world wide.. different kinds of.. eager to see ur full report . .

23rd January, 2012 @ 10:57 AM CEST

Maxwell Marfo

Maxwell Marfo

That is really a nice and good idea.

9th February, 2012 @ 3:54 PM CEST

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