Pedzisayi Joy Makumbe #WomeninScience

Pedzisayi Joy Makumbe from Zimbabwe is a civil engineer working in Western Uganda. She describes her work as:

Operating from the trenches ... But my war is a different kind of war. I take out the "water scarcity" enemy. I take out the "poor sanitation" enemy, ensuring the water pipes are laid as per design and quality, giving the people in the Western Region of Uganda clean water right at their doorstep.

What excites you most about your research?

The impact I make in communities. Knowing that my work will bring about relief to many people as their lives are improved through the solutions I bring.

Any research on more sustainable methods and materials for construction to ensure clean water and sanitation methods which are affordable in vulnerable communities is my passion.

Civil engineering is more than a career; it is a way of life.

What challenges have you faced?

Society is still getting used to women in scientific and technical fields.

It is sometimes hard to penetrate and have people take you on their team. However, once you get on, prove your worth by being professional and producing the desired results.

Some men do not take you seriously and want to interject and cut you off during meaningful discussions. You just have to cut in again and request to be able to finish putting your point through before others can put in their comments.

What would you say to women and girls who might be interested in going into your area of research?

It is not an easy road, but you have to be tough. You will meet a lot of sisters on the way who will hold your hand and strengthen you. Never give up! Hold your head up high and keep moving.