Hariady Mantong (36) is following his dream by doing his Master’s in Water Resources and Environmental Management at ITC. ‘This has been my dream ever since I began my Bachelor studies in Jogjakarta, Indonesia,’ says Mantong, a husband and father of two. ‘I heard about ITC Faculty on my very first day at university. I want to be an expert in this field, so naturally I was searching for the best of the best.’ That, he found, was the ITC Faculty in the Netherlands. ‘For water management, this is truly the best place to study. In the Netherlands, their water management system, or Waterschap, is older than the government itself. That’s why it is such a blessing to get to obtain this knowledge here.’
Learning about the management of surface and ground water resources is important for developing food security or disaster mitigation. Mantong specializes in hydrological modelling, which is an essential component in flood control. ‘It was interesting for me to see the different mind-sets people from other countries have towards environmental problems and resource management. I have classmates from Africa who are very conscious of the environment and saving water; however it is not the same way in Indonesia. We have so much water that we often do not stop to think about how vital it is to manage it properly.’ But this abandon is a contributing factor to climate change, claims Mantong, which causes some countries to have surplus and some to have deficit. ‘The result? Floods and draught. This is why we need to be very vigilant with our water management.’ When Mantong graduates, he plans on returning to his home country of Indonesia, to find work as a flooding management consultant or contractor.
Text: Michaela Nesvarova
Photos: Jellien Tigelaar & ITC Faculty