Female Geologist: I Thought I Would Become a Borehole-driller

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In short
When Proscovia Nabbanja got admitted to study Chemistry and Geology at Makerere University, she didn’t know what to expect in the program. In fact, she thought she was going to study Geography, and she had never met a practicing geologist

 When Proscovia Nabbanja got admitted to study Chemistry and Geology at Makerere University, she didn’t know what to expect in the program. In fact, she thought she was going to study Geography, and she had never met a practicing geologist.
 
 She made efforts to understand where the course she was studying would lead her, and the only field she could relate with was drilling boreholes.

//Cue in: “I thought about working in…
Cue out:….going into the water//

But she never even went to the water field. Instead, her voluntary mapping work with Geo-Maps right after university, gained her some experience, leading her to become the first female Geologist at the Petroleum Exploration and Production Department (PEPD) of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals.

And for the last twelve years, Nabbanja has been all over the Albertine region exploring for oil and gas. When she first joined the department in 2000, her field work involved collecting data on the presence of hydro-carbons and Uganda’s oil and gas potential. This data had to be presented at different forums, to attract investment into the development of the petroleum industry.

In 2003, she went to the Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine in the UK, for Master of Science in Petroleum Geo-science. The soft spoken Nabbanja is now the Senior Geologist in charge of Oil Wells in the department. Her work is to monitor the activities of the companies in the exploration field.

One would hardly imagine Nabbanja with a hammer and other surveying gadgets, climbing cliffs and hacking at rocks in the exploration field, but she has done all that. She holds memories of working in difficult terrain in the hot sun in the Albertine, in an environment mostly populated by wild animals.

But she is glad that her profession and the entire sector are now attracting attention, not only from professionals but also ordinary Ugandans.

//Cue in: “The challenge has been that….
Cue out:…what is happening in the sector.”///

 

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