February 18, 2016

Winka will be the new Water Research Centre in La Guajira

Cerrejón, in partnership with the University of La Guajira, is promoting the initiative of the Water Research Centre (Winka) to carry out in-depth research and to find innovative means to use the department’s water resources. The overall goal is to encourage high-level training in department youths and teachers and to foster research in projects aimed at finding solutions to the region’s water problems.

“Winka is going to be a world-class initiative (and the only one of its kind in the country) that will seek to develop solutions to address the critical need of access to water. It will also foster research and high-quality education,” stated Raúl Roys Garzón, director of the Cerrejón Foundation for Water in La Guajira.

The research centre will have three work streams: 


  1. World-class research and the search for solutions to water problems in La Guajira, with the participation of national and international consultants specialized in water resources.


  1. Post-graduate studies abroad for professors at the University of La Guajira in order to strengthen the region’s talent and have them aid in training department youths upon their return. Both of these streams will boost the University of La Guajira’s process for certification of institutional quality.


  1. Allocation of resources for undergraduate scholarships for young Guajirans so that they can train in careers related to the department’s needs.


“We are aware of the various problems La Guajira currently faces on different fronts, such as access to water, education, and food security, in addition to adversities such as the El Niño phenomenon. Therefore, we are seeking a comprehensive solution to these issues by creating the Centre, also taking into account technology transfer and other successful experiments,” affirmed Malka Moreno, director of the Institute of Environmental Studies and Water Use of the University of La Guajira.

In addition, the company commissioned the Ceiba Foundation (an entity dedicated to generating regional capabilities in science, technology, and innovation and comprised of researchers from the country’s best universities) to prepare all the documentation related to the Centre’s creation and to provide support in the search for national and international partners and donors.

By strengthening research and education through Winka, the company and its partners will supply solutions to the huge challenges in the region as regards access to water for its population. At Cerrejón, we continue working to develop solutions and programs aimed at the department’s progress and well-being.