Meet our past fellows:

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Aaron Gichaba, 2014

Aaron finished his Master’s degree at Egerton Unviersity in 2015 and is currently a Monitoring and Evaluation Manager at Aqua Clara International. He published his fellowship research on sanitary surveys in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and won Best Paper Presenter in the health and environment sub-theme at the Egerton International Conference.

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“[I liked] working with the best minds in research. [I want] to convey my deepest gratitude for such a wonderful opportunity which I believe is going to help many others in their career development in research.”

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Ben Murkomen, 2015

Ben completed his Master’s degree from Moi University in 2018, studying the prevalence of helminth infestation and associated risk factors in school age children (5-12 years) in Kerion Valley, Elgeiyo, Marakwet County. He is a Chief Public Health Officer for the Ministry of Health in Nairobi, Kenya. In his role as a Health Officer, he monitors WASH activities and is the focal person for the National Sanitation Action Plan and Reporting.

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“I am carrying forward some of the skills gained and [am] making a difference at [the] policy level in my country.”

Buliva Amugune, 2017

Buliva completed his Master’s degree in Public Health & Epidemiology at Kenyatta University in 2017. He is currently a Refugee Officer at Church World Service, identifying and admitting qualified refugees for resettlement in the United States.

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“The experienced gained from the fellowship will go a long way in making me an all-round public health scientist who is able to tackle water sanitation issues in relation with public health and nutrition.”

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Henry Koech, 2016

Henry continues his PhD at Egerton University studying water and sanitation in low-income urban areas in the Environmental and Occupational Health department, where he is also a lecturer. He has published eight peer-reviewed publications to date.

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“Before I came to Aquaya, I had an idea for my PhD thesis which was not even close to water and sanitation but by the time I was leaving 3 months later, I had developed a concept related to water and sanitation. That shows the extent of the impact [Aquaya] had in influencing my ideas and shaping my interests.”

Joan Kones, 2017

Joan completed her Master’s degree in Public Health in 2016 and is now a Research Assistant for Aquaya. She supports research programs by coordinating fieldwork, developing survey tools, recruiting and training field staff, and assisting with data management.

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“At Aquaya, I have interacted with a great team of researchers who have mentored me on conducting research and clearly disseminating results. [My mentor] always encouraged us and gave us new challenges. This has enabled me think outside the box…”

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John Ngatia, 2015

John completed his Master’s degree in Human Ecology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels in 2017 where he studied Community-Based Water and Fisheries Management. He spent his time between studies as an associate conducting Impact Assessments. He currently is a Data Coordinator and Research Officer at the Local Ocean Conservation: Watamu Turtle Watch.

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“I enjoyed an opportunity to deeply consult with the senior scientists. The experience was surely an important step in my academic and career path.”

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Joyce Kisiangani, 2014

Since AquayaLEARN, Joyce has completed her Master’s degree in Public Health, studying women’s knowledge, attitude and health seeking behavior towards breast cancer and its screening in Kakamega County, Kenya. She joined the Aquaya team full-time in 2015. Joyce currently is a Research and Programs Officer and supports Aquaya research initiatives across Africa.

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“Every aspect of the program that I encountered was an enriching and exciting experience. I did not simply learn about data collection & water and sanitation, but experienced it first-hand…The passion of every individual at Aquaya has made the internship program a success.”

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Kevin Kayando, 2014

Kevin is a dedicated WASH coordinator for the Ministry of Health in Kisii County, Kenya. He published his fellowship research in a Ministry of Health publication and continues to support Kisii County with water quality monitoring and result analysis, as well as coordination of Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) activities.

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“The environment was very conducive for learning and doing research…Please provide more opportunities for Kenyan learners and others in Africa.”

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Louisa Mwenda, 2015

Louisa finished her Master’s research in Environment and Natural Resources Management at Africa Nazarene University in 2017, assessing variations in how much water changes within a city. Her advisor was past Aquaya staff, Dr. Emily Kumpel. She received a Certificate in Integrated Water Resources Management and Health and has worked at BirdLife International. Louisa currently is an Environmental Analyst for EED Advisory, providing GIS support and carrying out fieldwork and research in their Water, Energy, and Climate Change programs.

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“[I liked] being able to work and interact freely with researchers, it made me learn a lot about water quality and sanitation concepts. The support from the Aquaya team was also amazing, staff were always willing to help out.”

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Patrick Ronoh, 2016

Patrick is currently working towards obtaining his Master’s degree in Sanitation from IHE Delft Institute for Water Education as a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Scholar. In 2017, he completed a Master’s degree at Kenyatta University studying drivers and barriers to safe child feces disposal among children in Kericho County, Kenya.

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“One notable [expectation met] is that I was able to work under the influence of a research professional who is now my mentor and is helping me in writing my thesis.”

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