The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) is deeply saddened by the passing of renowned Ghanian scientist Dr. Letitia Obeng (Snr.) last month.
Dr. Obeng has a long association with IWMI. From 1986 to 1991, she was an invaluable member of the Board of Governors of the International Irrigation Management Institute (IIMI), as IWMI was known at that time. She also served as the Chair of the Nominating Committee of the IIMI Board of Governors from 1990 to 1991.
Dr. Obeng was the first Ghanaian woman to be awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology and Botany (1952), a Master of Science degree in Parasitology (1962) and a PhD in Tropical Medicine (1964). She obtained her Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the University of Birmingham, UK, and her PhD from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK, where she studied the black fly that causes river blindness in West Africa.
On completion of her studies in the United Kingdom, Dr. Obeng returned to Ghana and became the first female scientist at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). She was a role model for female scientists all around the world. Over the years, Dr. Obeng held several prestigious positions including with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Dr. Obeng’s association with and contributions to IWMI continued after her tenure as a member of the Board of Governors. The Board of 2015 had the privilege of meeting her during its Board Meeting and the opening of the Ghana office in Accra on April 29, 2015.
The IWMI Board of Governors, the Management Team and staff offer their sincere condolences to the family of Dr. Obeng. She will be remembered for her immense contributions to science and freshwater ecology with the deepest gratitude.