Meet The Team
We are proudly based in Los Angeles and Mozambique.
Our Mozambique team is entirely local staff, and our Executive Director is in the field full-time. We operate year-round and all of our staff are permanent, paid employees. Water Underground is a permanently based humanitarian organization with officially established mandates in Mozambique.
Here are our main leaders
Former Minister of Agriculture and Regional Manager of INGC (the equivalent of FEMA). Silvestre directs all field project teams for Water Underground and negotiates the journey for each community project with the grace necessary to welcome each member of the community to water for the first time, and empower them to grow - on their own terms. Silvestre has over 30 years experience in the WASH sector in Mozambique.
Originally from Southern California and a graduate of the University of Southern California with degrees in International Relations and Business Administration. Worked in Darfur and then in other parts of Africa specifically focused on the water crisis before teaming up with Silvestre Uqueio to form Water Underground. Justin has over 15 years experience in the WASH and Development sector.
Read about Justin's story and the birth of Water Underground.
Watch 'My Name Is Water' on iTunes
Field Logistics Manager
Paulo is invaluable. Paulo has degrees in Geography and Economic Development and was born and raised in Massinga District where we work. Paulo has honed his skills in agriculture, community health and well maintenance which is why he is found facilitating the successful logistical flow for the entire team.
Head of Monitoring & Evaluation
Valdemiro worked for Massinga district government in Monitoring & Evaluation as well as rural and semi-urban land development. Valdamiro heads up the Monitoring & Evaluation team with Water Underground, working closely with the communities and helps assure our projects - and the communities development goals - are sustainably met with transparency.
Head of Hygiene & Sanitation Program
Catarina runs the Hygiene & Sanitation program and works with the local Water Underground medical staff to ensure each community member embraces the connection between water and health. Catarina also works heavily with the women in each community, focusing on women's empowerment and women's health. She is also in charge of the CLTS program in each community to end open defecation.
LUIS ZE MARTINS
Manager of Drilling Program
Working in the water sector for over 15 years for large organizations like USAID, Momade works with the drilling teams assuring all aspects are done to the highest quality and standards. Momade also works with every Water Oversight Committee's Division of Maintenance & Operations and trains them in all aspects of well maintenance, repair and diagnostics. He makes sure each division member walks away from the process as fully trained technicians themselves.
Head of CLTS Program
Ernesto is a specialist with Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS). Ernesto sets up camp every Monday - Friday to live with the community members, understand their traditions and personality, and guide them as they make the effort to make their community 100% Open Defecation Free. Ernesto helps each family as they build latrines for their homes and encourages the important aspects that are crucial to positive hygienic behaviour change.
RAQUIA ALI ALMADE
Hygiene & Sanitation / Women's Health Assistant
Raquia is also from Massinga District and was educated in improving health dynamics in the rural villages. She carries out important work reinforcing behavioral change for girls and menstrual health in the schools, and with the women in the Water Oversight Committees.
RBA, Registered Badass
Cindy ran the sales division of the family business that manufactured men's neckties. Alongside her mother, father, brother, sister and husband, she worked at Jocobs & Roberts for 32 years. After retiring from the schmata business, she began a new passion career as a private, in-home tutor. The pride and satisfaction she receives from watching her students succeed is incredible. She takes all her experience and spends 3 months each year in Mozambique helping organize Water Underground's internal operations and find efficiency in our field training. Oh yea, she is also the mother of our founder, Justin.
Health Educator for School Program
Alva just recently graduated from Nursing School in Mozambique and began working with Water Underground in 2018. She works with all of the students in each of the schools we work in and trains them using the Water Underground School Curriculum / Lesson Plans that we have developed to help each student adopt the needed behavior changes to improve the quality of their health and opportunity.
With a degree in Horticulture & Agriculture, Natercia has helped innovate the Bucket Drip Irrigation System and works with every community in the installation of these systems and guides them through every stage of the agricultural process. Every person has unique concerns about their agriculture practices, and Canda walks everyone through with grace, leaving them empowered.
Alfonso just recently graduated from university where he studied agriculture. He works alongside Natercia and helps each community in their personal gardens, as well as the community garden, and shows them ways to improve crop yields with easy, accessible and straightforward methodologies that can both increase food security & income - as well as empower the people themselves with self-reliance and dignity.