Brain drain on drain brains: South Africa suffers dearth of water quality engineers

A new study reports that much of South Africa’s water suffers high levels of toxic cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algea. Yet no one seems to know who can help.

According to Dr. Anthony Turton, a senior water researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the nation used to benefit from a program that produced PhD students savvy on water sanitation issues. But such programs at CSIR no longer exist.

The problem is national, Turton claims. Over half of South Africa’s municipalities lack a qualified engineer, he says.

According to Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry Lindiwe Hendricks, “There are very real skills shortages in our country. These are not only skills at the higher level of university trained engineers and scientists but at all levels throughout the water and sanitation value chain.”

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Source: Independent Online