Thirty engineers hailing from the Western Basins regions of Afghanistan arrived at AIT under an ADB program funded by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD). In this collaboration, Cowater International Inc. worked with the ministry of energy and water of Afghanistan under Asian development bank for the capacity building component of the western basin water resources management project.

Cowater International (Cowater) is a management consulting firm providing leading-edge, innovative solutions to clients worldwide. Since 1985, Cowater has developed a reputation for their ability to work with clients and stakeholders to provide solutions and services tailored to the needs and challenges faced by developing and transitional countries. On behalf of Cowater, Dr. Michael McGarry, Senior Project Director, Cowater International Inc, Canada tailored this program to fit the needs of the Afghan government and its partner organization, the Asian Development Bank (ADB). He is one of Cowater’s founding partners, and is an internationally recognized leader in the water supply and sanitation sector. His expertise encompasses the entire spectrum of needs within the sector, from analysis of urban and rural priorities and policies, through development and implementation of appropriate technologies and community management.

Cowater works with governments, education and training institutes, civil society and communities to develop innovative and responsive programs that support improved education systems, human resource development, institutional capacity development, and increase job opportunities.

The group included six women and they began their bridging program at AIT’s Language Center as a preparatory course prior to beginning their Master’s Program. Eighteen of these students would enroll in Water Engineering and Management (WEM), nine in Agricultural Systems and Engineering (ASE), and one each in Mechatronics, Computer Science and School of Management. This capacity building project, which falls under the aegis of the Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW), Government of Afghanistan, is worth nearly $1.57 million.

This program is being managed by a dedicated unit of AIT Consulting, headed by the Executive Director, Dr. Naveed Anwar. This project would help to strengthen the capacity of engineers and associated professionals working in the Western Basin regions of Afghanistan resulting in improved technical and administrative management of the water and agricultural resources in these basins. AIT is a place where these new students will not only get a chance to uplift their academic knowledge and expertise, but also their confidence and exposure through interaction with students from over 50 countries. The expert and highly qualified faculty of AIT is going to impart new knowledge and skills with an intention that when these students go back to their respective home countries, they can apply this knowledge for the betterment of their own people and countries. The Afghan students will also find an opportunity to interact with the students of other nationalities (AIT is lucky to have students from over 50 countries), learn from them, and get an exposure to the diversity in cultures, all at one place.