UNIMA researchers visit Norway for NORAD NORHED II Project Meeting

The annual meeting of the project titled “Climate Change and Ecosystems Management in Malawi and Tanzania” was held from 17th to 21st June 2024 in Drøbak and Oslo, Norway. The meeting was hosted by the University of Oslo (UiO) and was attended by postgraduate students and research staff from the partner universities: the University of Malawi, Mzuzu University (MZUNI), the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), and the University of Oslo. The UNIMA team was led by Professor Cosmo Ngongondo (ED NAS and Project PI), and also included Dr. Ngcime Mbano (Researcher), Mr. Christopher Mfune and Ms. Christina Kalima (MSc students), and Mr. James Kushe (PhD student).

In addition to progress report presentations on milestone achievements from all partner universities, students from various universities, including UNIMA, presented their research work. Mr. Mfune, who is enrolled in the Master’s programme in Water Science and Management, shared his experience during the meeting. He stated that he presented his research work titled "Assessment of Groundwater Availability in Bua River Basin" and received feedback for supervision purposes. He appreciated the opportunity to engage with fellow students who are also researching water and climate change. Their presentations helped him identify gaps in his research, and he sought advice from PhD students on the analytical methods they used.

“During my paper presentation, almost all of the attending lecturers provided feedback on my achievements. I also received constructive criticism on ways to further improve my work,” Mfune said. “I was particularly encouraged when Prof. Chong Yu and Prof. Lena Tallaksen, both from the University of Oslo, offered to assist me with alternative software tools to analyze my data, which was truly incredible.”

The meeting concluded with an excursion to various water and environment-related facilities, such as hydropower plants along the Gloma River, the largest river in Norway. Prof. Ngongondo mentioned that the project aims to support a total of 20 Master’s and 8 PhD students from UNIMA, UIO, MZUNI, and UDSM with full scholarships, while some students are also receiving partial support. He further stated that the project (NORHED II grant number #63826) is being funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) for the period 2021 to 2026.