Spotlight: Loubna, H2O Maghreb Trainer
Loubna is a Senior Technician in water quality at the Moroccan National Office for Electricity and Water (ONEE). In addition to her responsibilities monitoring and managing operations at the Bouregreg pilot station, Loubna is also a Trainer at ONEE’s Institut International de l’Eau et de l’Assainissement (IEA) in Rabat. In this capacity, she has been supporting the H2O Maghreb training program and teaching sanitation. Loubna remembers discovering her interest in the sanitation sector during a visit to an ONEE treatment system as part of her studies. “I really loved the environment and I asked God to one day work at ONEE,” Loubna recalls. After years of hard work and perseverance, Loubna now works at the same treatment system that she visited all those years ago.
Though she is grateful to be pursuing her career path in sanitation and work with ONEE, there are still many challenges to being a woman in a traditionally male-dominated technical field. Loubna has witnessed the growing trend of women entering the water sector and sees it as a small win in a longer battle: “Women have become stronger than men, even if in difficult sectors. It’s important to know that the sanitation field is very complex and dangerous but women have proven that they are capable of working in any sector and leave a good impression, and that is the case for me.”
Loubna is proud to be a Trainer with H2O Maghreb, where she can share her experiences and knowledge with her students. “We don’t just teach a class, we try to create a positive ambiance among the trainees and we work together like family.” She feels fulfilled to see young graduates excel in their careers after completing the training program: “There was a young man in the second cohort. He was an electromechanical engineer and called me at the end of the training to tell me that he had applied to a position of Water Treatment Plant Manager at LYDEC. About a month later, an engineer that I know who works at LYDEC called to congratulate me for the mentoring I had given to the student (he had gotten the job).”
Loubna sees working in water treatment as a labor of love not only for the sector and for her students, but for the important role it plays in keeping the world clean. “I am very satisfied to be among the women who work in sanitation because I am helping to protect the environment,” she states proudly, “We take in waste water. Imagine if it was just directly dumped into nature?”