The saying: ‘A drop of water is worth more than a sack of gold to a thirsty man’ is highly relevant to two students who understand the scarcity of water as a natural resource and chose to pursue their honours degrees in the field of Hydrology.
They are Mr Ryshan Ramlall and Ms Kimera Sahadave – who both excelled, graduating cum laude.
Ramlall, who initially had no plans to pursue postgraduate studies, described his honours experience as ‘surreal’, saying the fact that he has graduated with excellent results still has to sink in.
His love for science and his determination to make a difference in alleviating the challenges that water scarcity poses is what convinced him to continue with his studies. He is currently registered for a Master’s degree in Hydrology. His aim is to become a specialist equipped with sound knowledge that can assist South Africa’s decision makers to make meaningful progress in protecting the country’s water resources.
Ramlall was brought up in a close knit family which influenced his decision to study in his “home town”. He attributed his excellent results to his family and friends and their unwavering support, adding that he thoroughly enjoyed his undergraduate years on Pietermaritzburg’s ‘beautiful and scenic campus.’
Sahadave said she viewed graduation as the first step on her journey to success. The feisty and energetic young graduate professes that she put in a lot of effort during her studies and so was grateful that she reaped the rewards. She particularly enjoyed her honours year as it built on her undergraduate degree and the fieldwork put the coursework and theory into perspective, with trips to the Kruger National Park and Cathedral Peak in the Drakensberg being particularly memorable.
Sahadave said she did her homework thoroughly before choosing to study Hydrology at UKZN, believing it had the best courses and lecturers. ‘I am grateful for the accomplished and knowledgeable lecturers that I was blessed with in the discipline.’
Sahadave attributed her success and excellent results to her family and supervisor, Dr Michele Warburton-Toucher. Whilst she is currently enjoying a gap year and taking some time out to indulge her passion for aviation, her plan is to pursue a Master’s in Hydrology at UKZN as she feels such a degree will equip her with the best chance of being employed at institutions that make meaningful decisions in this specialised field.
‘Water is the medium of all aspects of life, hence understanding hydrology is so important to guide water management decisions,’ said Sahadave. ‘I want to further my knowledge of hydrology, especially the impact it has on global environmental change.’
Words: Swastika Maney
Photographs: Gugu Mqadi