October 2013: Rural Water Supply in the Kingdom in the Sky: My Experience as a Cowater Deputy Project Manager
For the past two and a half years I’ve had the pleasure of working with Cowater’s Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project in Lesotho. I was hired as an intern joining a team that had already been working on the ground for three years. Not only did I have to establish myself and find my place within our team, I also had to do the same with the project stakeholders. The main challenge on this project is the complex work structure – having to manage the expectations and participation of at least six different stakeholder groups. Often the international guidelines and methods supported by the client are completely new concepts to the local contractors and rural communities. I have found that the key to the successful implementation of the project has been supporting cooperation and dialogue between the various stakeholders. After a year of hard work and long hours I have established my role in the project and have been promoted to Deputy Project Manager.
Lesotho has had a substantial impact on me both professionally and personally. I have learned a great deal from this project and have had the pleasure of working with a supportive and hardworking team. Apart from the benefits of working with skilled and dedicated local counterparts, Lesotho also has the advantage of a physically stunning environment. Lesotho’s nickname of ‘The Kingdom in the Sky’ definitely rings true and whether on a site visit or a weekend in the mountains you can’t help but be in awe of the landscape.