DAAD Builds Up Contacts [Archives:2000/43/Reportage]

October 23 2000

Tawfeek al-Sharaabi
Yemen Times
DAAD is a German organization that aims to promote mutual connections to graduates from Germany. There are lots of programs to promote such relationships. DAAD-Alumin-workshop was organized by Agricultural Faculty in Sanaa University/Aden in cooperation with DAAD. There were two workshops one was held in Sanaa and the other in Aden. The workshop held in Sanaa was in the field of environment/solar energy while the one in Aden was in the field of health and medicine. The workshops aimed to reach former scholarship holders of the German Academic Exchange Service. Yemen Times met with some of these professors and filed the following report.

Prof.Harfmuf Echsladt, Dean of the Agriculture Faculty, University of Postock, said Last year we started a special program related to Yemen. This program aims to contact students who finished their studies in Germany. We faced some difficulties in contacting these graduates as new structures were introduced, professors were changed in universities in Germany after 1990.
We started this program last year in November in Sanaa, Aden and Mukalla. This year we divided our workshops into two parts. One group in Sanaa and the other in Aden. Next year, I hope we will continue our program. We plan to go to Al-Mukalla. The program this year is more organized than the previous year.
I think that the response from the Yemeni colleges this year was very good. There was also an agreement between our faculty and the faculty here in Sanaa for further cooperation. So I hope that we will continue our contact and program.

Dr. Olaf Bellmann, veterinarian, Research Institute for the Biology of Farm Animals, Veterinarians without Borders, said In the workshop we discussed the rift valley fever. We discussed what happened and what we can do. The cause of the disease is a virus which is mainly transmitted by mosquitoes but even in this there are some other possibilities. As I observed in the market the people do not want to eat meat. I think that there is no danger to eat very well-cooked and well-roasted meat. The danger is mainly for people who are dealing with raw meat.
For me it was difficult to come across Veterinarians here. Most of the participants were in water management.
I think it is important to organize the event well next time. The university should be open to every body who is willing to come. Even those from outside the university who are interested in attending should be welcomed. I think there are many veterinarians in Sanaa who could have come if they were informed.

Heidi Adam, from international office, University of Rostock, said We had to organize for the project. I went to Aden with other professors. The workshop this year was better organized than previous year for we started it quickly. This year we included medicine in our discussions in Aden.
The participation of Yemeni graduates from German was overwhelming. They expressed their need to be in contact with their old universities. On the other hand, they expressed their need to know the latest development in their specializations. We found that they need us and wish us to come back.
In Aden there were about 65 to 70 participants who wanted to listen to the lecturers. We held talks how to intensify and improve contact, how to identify the needs of people here and then try to meet some of them.
The program is designed for three years. The idea is that in these three years we build up a contact, establish what is necessary to later grow on successfully. This year there were six doctors who went to Aden and seven doctors in Sanaa. Yemeni and German scientists gave lectures to show how much have we done in the meantime.
About Yemen and its people she said It is such interesting to come to such a country and see such an interesting culture which is very valuable to me. The second thing is that the relationship between the Yemeni graduates and their universities is refreshed and revived. We would like to go forward with this friendly relationship. We are moved and deeply touched by the generosity of the people.

Dr. Ing. Brigitte Schmidt along with Dr. Ing. Ditmar Schmidt said We are working in the field of solar energy using in Germany. In Yemen solar energy is double as in Europe and we think that it is time to use it in Yemen. For this purpose Yemen can make use of the qualified Germans at any time.
We tried to put forth proposals to make use of the solar energy in public houses, hospitals, schools and help to install the solar home system in villages without light and energy.
There are three active points for solar energy in Yemen which are in Sanaa, al-Mukala and Aden. We came to educate these interested engineers and to look for places where plants for solar energy can be established. We traveled for one week throughout the country to villages to see where the solar system can be better installed. The objectives of the next workshop next year will be to create the first real projects.

Dr. Joachin Mller, said I am a teacher of irrigation technology in the university and my role in this group was the use of water drop irrigation. I stressed the importance of water in our world. As our population is increasing tremendously, we have to look for new resources. There is a lot of shortage in water in many parts of the world. The competition for water is not only between countries but also within the country itself. There are three main parts competing for water which are the industry, community for drinking water and agriculture. Agriculture takes 80% of water resources. So if we want to save water we have to start with agriculture. We have to develop water saving irrigation methods so that we reduce the wasted water. There are big water losses by sub-optimal irrigation methods. So we have to teach people how to use this valuable water in the right way to avoid losses and have effective irrigation. That was what I have tried to explain workshop, how to use water in the most efficiently.

There are high investment in irrigation, expensive irrigation methods as well as low investment common methods which are better for them are known to farmers. But if water is unavailable, in this case it would only be economic to switch over to this water saving irrigation methods. We should also have water prices in the future. So the most critical point is water price. That is, if you want to economize water, you have to introduce water fee. I think it would be quite strange and new in this country. However, it might be the only way in the next 50 to 100 years.