Young Experts

Hellen Wanjala

Hellen Wanjala

YEP period 2021 - 2023, batch 24

Young Expert at Van der Sat - Kenya

YEP Role

Remote Sensing Analyst

VanderSat is a leading provider of global satellite-observed data, products, and services overland with special emphasis on water and crops. VanderSat provides remote sensing data and analytics in three key areas: Agriculture, Insurance, and Water & Climate. In Agriculture, our production data on soil moisture, water availability, biomass, and temperature can lead to smarter digital farming solutions for every growing season and every crop. In Insurance, we alleviate the impact of extreme weather on farmers, working with the world’s most innovative(re) insurers and brokers, developing smarter crop insurance to protect customers from the enormous and avoidable costs of drought and water damage.

The aMaizing crop insurance program in Kenya launched in close partnership with ACRE Africa and The Alliance (Biodiversity-CIAT) and co-funded by the InsuResilience Solutions Fund (ISF), aims to increase the resilience of 300,000 smallholder farmers (50% who are women) against climate-related risks, and thereby positively impacting the lives of 1.2 million beneficiaries by the end of the project in the year 2023. I, as a young expert based in Nairobi, Kenya will be VanderSat’s representative in foreseeing the activities in the implementation of these objectives. I am involved in both technical operations and project management activities. Also, as a business developer, I will help venture VanderSat into new opportunities in satellite-based agricultural insurance, among other satellite-services opportunities for agriculture in Kenya and other African countries.



  • Earth Observation and Geo-Spatial information application tools
  • Programming languages: Python
  • Hydrological simulation modeling
  • Project research and documentation
  • Project management skills
  • Passionate about environmental sciences
  • Fluent in English and Swahili, and medium-level in Dutch



  • Nationality: Kenyan
  • Education:

2018 - 2020: Masters of Science in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation: Specialization in Water Resources and Environmental Management.                                                                                         Faculty of Geo-Information Science & Earth Observation, ITC, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands

2011 - 2015: Bachelor of Science in Soil, Water and Environmental Engineering. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Nairobi, Kenya.


Experience before YEP

Remote Sensing Analyst at VanderSat, Haarlem, The Netherlands (Sep 2020 - Present)

Intern at eLEAF, Feed the world, Wageningen, The Netherlands (Nov 2019 - Dec 2019)                                  

GIS Assistant at KENTTEC (Kenya Tsetse & Trypanosomiasis Eradication Council), Nairobi, Kenya (Jan 2017 - June 2018)

Graduate Technical GIS Intern at ESRI Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya (Jan 2016 - June 2016)

Student Attache at Remote Sensing Department, RCMRD (Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development, Nairobi Kenya (Jan 2015 - Apr 2015)

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Organisation: Van der Sat
Young Experts