MEDRC to Support New Omani Start-ups in Water Treatment Sector

Through the support of BP Oman’s Social Investment Program, MEDRC announced a new training initiative at a virtual launching ceremony on Wednesday, July 15, 2020.

The TAHLYA for SMEs training program will train, develop and support Omani SMEs in the water treatment sector, boosting job creation and economic growth.  The ceremony was held under the auspices of Diam with chairman H.E Mohammed Abdullah Al Mahrouqi in attendance as the guest of honor.

The 3-month long intensive training course will be delivered at MEDRC’s state of the art water training centre in Muscat, preparing young Omanis for self-employment in two key areas of water treatment – Solar Desalination and Grey Water Treatment.

Sustainable water technologies such as solar powered desalination and grey water treatment offer real business opportunities for young entrepreneurs in Oman as the industrial and private sectors look to adopt water and energy conservation approaches.

Trainees will learn how to assess water supply requirements and to design, procure, build, install and maintain small-scale plants, meeting the needs of a variety of consumers from private residencies through to large scale water utilities.

The program hopes to make a meaningful impact on the agricultural sector. In Oman farmers have turned to desalination to treat groundwater tainted by sea water intrusion in order to irrigate their crops. From initial set up and maintenance through to the running of these energy intensive plants the application of desalination in agriculture places a serious financial burden on farmers. By harnessing the energy of the sun, solar powered desalination units can offer a financially viable and sustainable long- term solution to Oman’s farmers. A small business that emerges from the TAHLYA for SMEs program will be equipped to help farmers tackle these challenges, offering them a complete set of service requirements from design consultation and build of new solar powered plants through to the ongoing maintenance requirements of the units.

Tapping into the talent pool created by MEDRC’s renowned TAHLYA training program – which has been training young Omani’s for jobs in desalination since 2017 – the new program will target exceptional TAHLYA graduates who wish to take their technical skills to the next level and are interested in starting their own water business.

Speaking of the announcement, Ciarán Ó Cuinn, MEDRC’s Center Director said “TAHLYA for SMEs is underpinned by MEDRC’s commitment to look for ways to produce low cost environmentally friendly water and Oman’s national objective of fostering the growth of private enterprise. Through the support of our partners we will deliver a comprehensive training program that will build the capacity of our brightest young graduates and put them on the pathway to self-employment and job creation.”

MEDRC has put a strong project steering committee together linking their technical training expertise together with the best of national expertise in water supply and business enterprise and entrepreneurship. The Public Authority of Water (Diam) will advise on potential revenue streams for new businesses and offer key insights into the tendering process. Oman’s Public Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises Development together with Sharaka will help to prepare trainees to develop their own business start-ups. Sharakah will deliver a business enterprise module within the training program, while Riyada will offer trainees a place on a pre-incubation program, helping them to define their ideas and develop their business plan.

In attendance at the ceremony were the 10 successful candidates who will begin their 3 month TAHLYA for SMEs training program at MEDRC in August. MEDRC is committed to working within the guidelines set by the Supreme Committee for Covid 19 to guarantee the health and well-being of all trainees and staff and as such, classes will be held virtually.