Karatina University and Strathmore University Spearhead Activities of The Kenya Green Universities Network and Lead the Effort to Commit Kenyan Universities to Going Green

Representatives of 18 Kenyan universities met at the UN compound in Nairobi in June 2019 to agree a new plan of action including greening campus operations while also enhancing student engagement and learning.  Holding the word NETWORK is Prof. P. Aloo-Obudho ( DVC-ARSA) and a colleague from UNEP. Photo by Carina Mutschele.In a recent meeting of 18 public and private universities in June,2019 at UNEP headquarters, Karatina University was selected together with Strathmore University to spearhead the re-launch and Activities of the Kenya Universities Green Network ( KGUN)and to lead the effort to commit universities to going green. The meeting was attended by senior university leaders, student leaders, UNEP officials, Ministry of Environment officials and NEMA, among others. During the meeting, participants committed to going green in their universities. Karatina University Deputy Vice-Chancellor ( ARSA), Prof. P. Aloo-Obudho and the Deputy Vice-chancellor (Research Affairs) at Strathmore University, Prof. Izael Da Silva were selected as Co-Chairs to Coordinate the activities of KGUN.

Apart from the desire to go green, many universities are seeing the shift to adopting green technologies as a way to reduce costs and further sustainability. Working closely with the Ministry of Environment and the National Environment Management Authority, UN Environment will be hosting a Kenya University Summit in the coming months, calling on other Kenyan universities to join the network.

“Kenyan universities not only define the learning and careers of the next generation, they can also shape their behaviours,” said Juliette Biao, Africa Director for UN Environment. “We look forward to supporting the Green University Network to inspire Kenya’s students and to become a point of reference to other universities on the continent.”

Professor Aloo-Obudho ( DVC-ARSA) from Karatina University said: “The [Kenya Green University Network] meeting was timely and has helped me establish relevant contacts to support Karatina University’s green concept and solar energy project. Karatina University is at a very advanced stage to implement the green university project and intends to go solar in the near future.”

“Universities across Africa can run on the power of the sun and set new standards for sustainability,” said Professor da Silva of Strathmore University. “But it’s just not on the roofs of our campuses that we need to take action. We also need to support students to take action in support of the planet in their personal lives.”

This recognition of the efforts of Karatina University is a boost towards our dream of becoming a green University.

The Green University Network in Kenya draws on the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment’s Arusha Declaration “to strengthen environmental education and training and develop an action plan for Africa” and the lessons from Kenya will be shared at a ministerial meeting in South Africa in August.

Karatina University Organized a Training Workshop for University Leaders at Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge in Naivasha

Karatina University had the privilege of hosting a training workshop for university leaders to train the newly appointed Vice-Chancellors and Principals of university colleges from 24th to 27th April, 2019 at Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge in Naivasha. The training workshop was jointly organised by the Kenya DAAD scholars on behalf of DAAD and the Commission for University Education (CUE). It was supported by DAAD, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Germany), Dialogue in Higher Education Strategies (DIES) and German Rector Conference (HRK). The theme of the workshop was “Developing Transformative, Visionary and Effective University Leaders”. The workshop was co-odinated by the Deputy Vice- Chancellor (ARSA), Prof. P. Aloo- Obudho who is also the Chairman of the Kenya DAAD Scholars Association, Mount Kenya Region Chapter. Prof. P. Aloo-Obudho also coordinated the development of the Guide for Training University Leaders (GTUL).

The workshop attracted sixteen (16) participant out of the twenty (22) who were invited. The participants were taken through various topics including University Governance, University Environment and Leadership Principles, among others. Participant were drawn from both Public and Private Universities. The workshop was opened by Dr. Mogaka Ogutu (Director of University Education) on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Education, Prof. G.A. Magoha. Dr. Mogaka also lunched the Training Guide for University Leaders on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary.

In his speech, the Cabinet Secretary appreciated the initiative of training newly appointed University leaders and stressed the importance of such trainings to equip the leaders with the relevant skills. He put emphasis on the resource mobilization by Universities since government funding to Universities has gone down. He challenged Universities to seek for alternative sources of funding to be able to achieve their mandate. The CS also appreciated the efforts by DAAD towards promoting quality in higher education and the Kenya DAAD Scholars Association (KDSA) for organising regular conferences to discuss topical issues on higher education. He urged the KDSA members to continue with the dialogue on quality issues facing higher education in Kenya.

Karatina University was represented in the workshop by the Vice–Chancellor, Prof. Mucai Muchiri and the Chairman of Council, Dr. Kobia Ataya. The Vice-Chancellor in his remarks decried the reduced funding to universities and the difficult financial situation facing universities. In his remarks, the Chairman of Karatina University Council said he was happy that his university is associated with the training workshop for University leaders. He thanked the organizers and asked them to extend the same training to Council members. The outgoing DAAD Director thanked the team that organized the workshop under the leadership of Prof. P. Aloo-Obudho and urged them to keep the candle of quality in higher education burning. Also present in the workshop was the CEO for Commission for University Education, Prof. Mwenda Ntarangwi and the Deputy Director of DAAD, Ms. Margret Kirai.

Due to the co-ordination role played by Karatina University, the workshop gave the university good publicity especially after the press interviewed the Vice –Chancellor, Prof. Muchiri Mucai on challenges facing higher education in Kenya. The training brought out a strong image of the university with regard to training University leaders on leadership and management of higher education institutions. Based on the feedback received from the participants, they indicated that the training will help them sharpen their leadership skills.

Karatina University Participates In The 4th Session Of Unep Environmental Assembly Conference At Unep Headquarters In Gigiri, Nairobi, 11th To 15th March, 2019

Karatina University was privileged to be invited to participate in the Fourth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) held in the UNEP Headquarters at Gigiri, Nairobi from 11th to 15th March, 2019. The United Nations Environment Assembly is the world’s highest-level environmental forum that was attended by heads of states, environment ministers around the globe, CEOs of multinational companies, NGOs, environmental activists, faith based organizations and scholars to discuss and make global commitments to environmental protection and sustainability.

Courtesy Photo with the Director General, NEMA Prof. Geoffrey Wahungu (C) at the University booth

The United Nations Member States delivered a blueprint for change, saying the world must hasten towards a new model of development in order to respect the vision laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. The Assembly rested under the themes of innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production aiming to inspire nations, companies and individuals to take a critical look at how they produce and consume. A Twitter hash tag #Solve Different and Think Beyond drove online participants globally to the forum.

The university, in the five-day forum was represented by Prof. P. Aloo-Obudho, Deputy Vice Chancellor (ARSA) ; Prof. Gilbert Nduru, Director, Research and International Programmes; Dr. Mugo Mware, Dean School of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies; Dr. Josphat Kagema, Coordinator, Community Outreach; Mr. Wilson Lochomoi, Marketing Officer and Mr. Leonard Wamai, Senior Technician Media. The team purposed to showcase the innovative green brand of Karatina University inspired to provide transformational sustainable environmental development and green activities. Karatina University was the only university from Kenya to participate in the high profile Assembly and the second one after Yale University from the United States.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (ARSA) Prof. P. Aloo-Obudho explaining a point on KarU green concept  to Hon. Najib Balala, Cabinet Secretary Tourism

The Assembly in its five days of deliberations was deeply concerned on the wanton destruction, plunder and depletion of the global environment. Consequently, the planet is increasingly polluted leading to gobal climate change. This was brought to focus by the over 5000 delegates who gathered to address environmental challenges through advancing innovative solutions and adopting sustainable consumption and production patterns.

On Thursday, 14th March 2019, the French President Emmanuel Macron was hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta in the high level One Planet Summit and he affirmed on the world leadership commitment to tackle laws and rules that are binding and adopted internationally to safeguard and protect the environment for posterity. He concluded: ‘Our biosphere faces total devastation’. Karatina University team was once more privileged to attend the high profile discussions.

One of our guests  signing the Visitors Book

In conclusion, Karatina University has a strong focus to mirror on environmental sustainability. This is a follow up of the recent branding of the University as a Green University. By participating in the high level conference, the university has made a mark in the global dialogue especially on environmental sustainability.

Karatina University meets KEPHIS to discuss MoU

From left to right Dr David sujee (SPAS representative), prof Kenneth wanjau (director university -Industry linkage), Dr Isaac macharia ( KEPHIS GM phytosanitary services), Mr. Simeon Kibet ( KEPHIS GM quality assurance), Dr Lucy Ndegwa (SESS representative) & Dr Denis maina ( SAB representative).

KarU team had visited KEPHIS for a preliminary meeting to discuss MoU components. The meeting took place at KEPHIS Headquarter in Karen on 29/05/19.

More meetings are scheduled to take place before finally agreeing on when to sign MoU.

Award of Certificate of Compliance to Karatina University for BSc Programes in Human Nutrition and Dietetics and Food Science and Nutrition by the Kenya Nutritionists and Dietetics Institute (KNDI)

Above, the DVC ARSA Karatina University (Prof Peninah-ALoo Obudho) receives license from the KNDI CEO Dr. David Okeyo, for Karatina University to train for the Degree Programme in Human Nutrition and Dietetics and Food Science and Nutrition. Looking left to right are: Mr. Peter Opanga-council Member representing CUE, Martin Kiome (of KNDI), Dr G. Nguka (Council Member, KNDI), Dr H. Kamiri- Dean SAB, Prof M. Lokuruka-FSN, Dr. L. Ngugi-HoD, FSN

The KNDI awarded Karatina University the Certificate of Compliance, for the Department of Food Science and Nutrition to offer BSc programmes in Human Nutrition and Dietetics and Food Science and Nutrition. The Certificate was received by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Research and Student Affairs, Prof. Peninah Aloo-Obudho on behalf of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mucai Muchiri. Earlier, the Vice Chancellor accompanied by the two Deputy Vice Chancellors, Prof. Peninah Aloo-Obudho (DVC, ARSA) and Prof. Linus Gitonga (DVC, FPA) received the Council Inspectorate and Compliance team of the KNDI, led by the CEO/Secretary to Council, Dr. David Okeyo. Also at hand to receive the visitors were the Dean, School of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Dr. Hellen Kamiri, the Chairperson of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Dr. Louise Ngugi and members of the academic staff of the Department.

This was a glorious occasion for the University, the School of Agriculture and Biotechnology and the Department of Food Science and Nutrition to be awarded this Certification showing that the Department meets the requirements set out by the KNDI for the two programmes the University offers to undergraduate students. The University is elated by this culmination of the hard work by the staff of the Department, supported by the Dean and the top University Management. We aim to be the Centre of Excellence in Nutritional Sciences in East Africa and beyond!

Karatina University received full accreditation from the regulatory body Kenya Nutritionist and dieticians institute to train in Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics and Food Science and Nutrition on the 27th February 2019. The Licensing followed an inspection that affirmed that the University meets the required --threshold in various standards set by the Institute.

Karatina University Contacts

P.O. BOX 1957—10101, Karatina, Kenya.

Tel: (+254) 20 2176 713/ Mob: (+254) 729 721 200

eMail: info@karu.ac.ke or admissions@karu.ac.ke