A workshop was organised on 18th June 2019 in the office of Governor of Alexandria by Alexandria Business Association and Alexandria University the partners of AFMA who are spearheading the public awareness and social relationship related to flood warning and preparedness in Alexandria. The aim of the workshop was to invite the stakeholders among residents of Alexandria who are willing to be the water ambassadors and take active part in spreading awareness, bringing about change and ready to be first responders during the event of flooding.
The workshop was organised by Dr. Manal Elofy from ABA. The moderators of the session were Prof. Dr. Yasir Zaki, Advisor to the Governor of Alexandria and Dr. Mohanasundar Radhakrishnan, the project coordinator of AFMA. There were 32 participants from diverse background ranging from Political science, media, civil engineering, public relationship officers from Drainage company, NGOs, Political representatives and writers. The age of the participants ranged from about 20 to 70. The workshop participants were briefed about AFMA project and then the floor was given to the participants to discuss among themselves and come up with the answers for the following five questions:
- Who is my water ambassador?
- What are the qualities and qualification of an water ambassador?
- Am I a water ambassador and what is my motivation to one?
- What kind of information and access I need to be become a water ambassador?
- What is my reach as an water ambassador?i.e. how many people can I serve?
The participants discussed amoung themselves in small groups and came up with a variety of answers. To some a Water ambassador should be educated. To some people water ambassador need not have a formal education but should be a person who understands the people around and act in a composed manner during an emergency. For some participants the motivation to become a water ambassador is to be seen as a person making change and to some others the motivation was to avoid the unpleasant experiences of the past flood. All of them agreed that there should be a formal training of water ambassadors and to maintain the sustainability a finance model should be worked out to appreciate the work done by the water ambassadors. All the participants were willing be the water ambassadors of Alexandria and promised to to so to Dr. Konsawa, Governor of Alexandria as he graced the workshop with his conculding remarks together with Dr. Walid El-Barki the advisor to Governor of Alexandria on water related issues. AFMA project will follow up on this workshop by consolidating the inputs from the participants and will come out with the selection criteria for Water Ambassadors and organise a training course for the first set of water ambassadors in the last week of August 2019.