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African Drylands Institute for Sustainability
College of Agriculture and Veterinary Science
University of Nairobi
P.O. Box 29053 00625
Nairobi , Kenya

Email:adis@uonbi.ac.ke /csdes@uonbi.ac.ke
Tel: 254-020-2133086
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CSDES SEEKS COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP IN YATTA, MACHAKOS COUNTY

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Date and time: 
Tue, 2013-01-08 12:26

The first objective of the Centre for Sustainable Dryland Ecosystems and Societies (CSDES) is improved coordination of interdisciplinary higher education research and outreach for drylands in Kenya. In light of this objective, the CSDES visited a community-based development project dubbed “Operation Mwolyo Out” (OMO) in Yatta Constituency, Machakos County. The objective of the visit was to explore UoN/CSDES-Community partnership opportunities and strengthen outreach to communities in drylands. Some of the expected outputs of the visit included identification of the communities’ research needs and documentation of lessons learnt and best practices.

Operation Mwolyo Out (Mwolyo, a Kamba word for donations) is a program that was initiated in 2009 after the drought that hit many parts of the country. The project was started by the Christian Impact Mission Church (CIM) as an exit strategy for relief interventions. It was felt that previous, numerous relief interventions had failed to solve the chronic food insecurity and drought-related suffering the local community had suffered for a long time.  The program intended to use the church as an agent of change in the community because it is perceived as a permanent and neutral body.

CIM chose an integrated community transformation model that addresses the various aspects of human dimensions including: religious, social, economic, technological, environmental and political dimensions. According to Dr. Titus Masika, Director, CIM, the model was meant to comprehensively deal with issues of climate change, food security and poverty.

The director highlighted the seven pillars of this model as:

  • Community mobilization
  • Water harvesting
  • Agriculture
  • Wealth, health and job creations
  • Value addition
  • Industrial villages
  • Market linkages

Dr. Masika called on the University of Nairobi to help the community conduct research in a systematic manner and assist the program to critically review and document its success stories. He also requested the University to assist in creating new but simple technologies and innovations especially on value addition. Among the challenges raised was the lack of storage facilities for excess biogas generated at farm level.

In his remarks, Mr. Peter Kamande, the CSDES Project Manager highlighted the vitality of partnership between the University and the community. Among the reasons for partnership he mentioned were; to upscale the integration of indigenous knowledge and modern science; enhance sharing of knowledge and experiences between researchers and communities; to create larger linkages for the community;, encourage ownership of ideas; and synergy through joint resource mobilization.

 

 

Expiry Date: 
Wed, 2014-04-30 12:26

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