Jelmer van Veen
Young Expert at Denys Engineers & Contractors B.V. - Ethiopia
YEP period 2015 - 2017, batch 6
As a site manager I was responsible for the day-to-day follow-up of the construction of waste water infrastructure in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia where Denys is constructing 18 km of sewage pipes that rehabilitate and expand the existing sewerage network. When all local connections were realized the city increased the percentage of households with a connection to the sewage network from 10% to over 60% of all households to a sewage connection. The project is funded by the World Bank and ordered by Addis Ababa Water and Sanitation Authority (AAWSA). My role as a Site-manager included planning, monitoring and managing of the construction process, guiding the construction team, managing operation and maintenance of machines, taking care of the logistics for personnel, materials and equipment, staying in contact with suppliers and other involved parties, collecting and processing quality data and preparing progress reports. I was also the contact person for any person visiting the site, and the one that smoothen the process of the overall development. The objective of the project was to increase access to sustainable water supply and sanitation services in Addis Ababa.
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My ability to improvise while always maintaining a result-oriented mind-set is what is mostly required on-site. Planning and reporting as well as good oral and written communication skills that I have developed during my university studies are useful for the preparation and management of the project. The intercultural sensitivity that I have picked up on during several visits abroad comes in handy while interacting with the client, my colleagues, the blue-collar workers and any visitors on-site.
- BSc and MSC International Land and Water Management at Wageningen University. Participation in The Climate-KIC master Label Programme
Experience before YEP
During various fieldwork trips for my university education I gained a diverse international working experience. The most important were Benin where I did a 3-month research project on rice-irrigation for my BSc thesis, Myanmar where I did a 3-month research project on developing decision support tools for integrated water management for my MSc thesis, and Tunisia which I visited 5 times as part of an intensive and interesting 2-week student excursion, first as a participant, and later as organizing staff. During a 6 month internship at the Water Cluster of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (now IGG, formerly DME) I helped developing indicators for the Sustainable Water Fund (FDW) and experienced firsthand the drive to become a leading country in the field of water management and how that ambition permeates our foreign water policy directives.