Dhahban Institute biochemical lab inaugurated [Archives:2008/1162/Local News]

May 9 2008

Jamal Al-Najjar
For The Yemen Times

SANA'A, June 8 ) A biochemical laboratory was inaugurated last Wednesday at Dhahban Technical and Industrial Institute in Sana'a, which aims to train and qualify technicians in the water and sanitation sector to test and analyze water quality.

The cost of the lab and the training program came to YR 30 million and was supplied by the German Technical Cooperation, known as GTZ, according to Peter Herrmann, team leader of GTZ's personnel development component.

Hermann stressed the importance of providing Yemen's water sector with training in this field, as trainees have direct contact with local institutions so they can check and test water quality coming up with the results regarding water usage methods and disruption in Yemen. “The lab also can accommodate researchers interested in this field to test their samples,” Hermann added.

Yemen is one of several Middle Eastern countries suffering an acute water crisis due to massive overuse of water resources and a lack of required institutional framework conditions, according to the Water and Environment Ministry's 2005 National Water Strategy.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by Minister of Water and Environment Abdul-Rahman Al-Eryani, Minister of Technical Education and Vocational Training Ibrahim Omar Hajri, representatives from the German Embassy and GTZ staff members working in Yemen.

At the inauguration, Irene Fellmann, development cooperation counselor at the German Embassy, confirmed that the laboratory will focus on two sectors: technical education and vocational training, and water and sanitation.

“It will increase the training capacity of the Dhahban Technical and Industrial Institute as one of the most advanced institutions,” Fellmann said, adding, “It will serve the highly crucial water and sanitation sector in improving its management of dwindling water resources by building competence and establishing expertise.”

She added that the project is part of the Yemeni-German water sector program, and if further needs arise to ensure optimum utilization and efficient management, German institutions like the German Development Services will be ready to assist by sending experts to train laboratory staff and assist in establishing operating systems.

GTZ Country Director Thomas Engelhardt maintained that the laboratory will help qualify personnel in local water supply and sanitation corporations in order to improve the management of Yemen's water resources.

“We're all aware that Yemen's water resources already are very scarce and shrinking at an alarming rate. This challenge calls for concerted efforts at various levels and by a multitude of players and actors,” he said, noting that with the laboratory ready to serve, the challenge now is to maximize its usage and maintain it well via competent staff.

Al-Eryani said his ministry will work on providing the lab's operational budget to enable it to be used as planned.

He went on to say that Dhahban Institute's water sector graduates should have priority regarding employment, noting that the 20 students now receiving proper education and training will offer proper services in this field and train others in the future.