Community Outreach

Our Visitors


African Drylands Institute for Sustainability
College of Agriculture and Veterinary Science
University of Nairobi
P.O. Box 29053 00625
Nairobi , Kenya /
Tel: 254-020-2133086
Fax: 254-020-632121

Start Date: 
Fri, 2013-03-15 02:00 - 03:30
8:4:4 AUDITORIUM at 2:00 pm











Contact Person: 
Prof J.T Njoka

The Centre for Sustainable Drylands Ecosystems and Societies (CSDES) has initiated talks with OXFAM/REGLAP and Euro Africa Consult Ltd as part of it’s effort to work with organizations that engage in education, research and development action supporting dryland communities. The meeting brought together two representatives from Oxfam, two Professors from University of Nairobi (UoN), nine PhD students from UoN and CSDES staff.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has expressed interest to partner with the University of Nairobi (UoN) through the Centre for Sustainable Dryland Ecosystems and Societies (CSDES) to establish ways in which UoN can collaborate with Sheikh Technical Veterinary School (STVS) in Somaliland to develop dryland resource management courses.

University of Nairobi (UoN) and Colorado State University (CSU) have signed an agreement to establish a foundation of a strategic partnership between the two. The goal of UoN-CSU partnership is to create a Centre for Sustainable Dryland Ecosystems and Societies (CSDES) at UoN to develop an integrated approach to sustaining Kenyan dryland ecosystems and societies by linking research, higher education and communities.

Colorado State University (CSU) President Tony Frank will visit University of Nairobi from 29th to 30th November 2012. The CSU president will be accompanied by Jim Cooney, Vice Provost for International Affairs, Lou Swanson, Vice President for Engagement and Director of CSU Extension, Joyce Berry, Dean of the Warner College of Natural Resources, Craig Beyrouty, Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, Diana Wall, University distinguished Professor and Director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability Paul Evangilista, Research Scientist.

Food security and environmental sustainability are key issues that the world is grappling with today. Prof. P. K. Ramachandran Nair from the University of Florida, Gainesville, giving a lecture on the issue reiterated that even though man has to get his needs from the environment, it must not be at the cost of the environment itself.  

Kenya’s dryland areas (or ASALs – arid and semi-arid lands) make up more than 80% of the country and are mainly found in the Rift Valley. They are home to approximately 4 million pastoralists who constitute more than 10% of Kenya’s population plus other rangeland users (Kirbride and Grahn 2008:8). Livestock raised by pastoralists is worth US$800 million per year (AU-IBAR in IIED and SOS Sahel 2010). Pastoralists occupy most of the border areas of Kenya, with pastoral groups straddling borders with Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.

The literacy levels in these areas continue to be low. Inhabitants of these areas also have no knowledge on how to use their lands for their own benefits. They lack information on how use these drylands. To increase levels of education on drylands management, a three month internship program was launched by the Centre for Sustainable Drylands Ecosystems and Societies (CSDES). It was aimed at transforming higher education in the Drylands of Kenya. Ten young graduates were sent as far as Loita, Garissa, Mbeere, Laikipia, Kajiado/Kitengela, Turkana, Taita-Taveta, Tana-River/ Isiolo, Kiboko, and Mara. The target was at least a tertiary qualification at Certificate level. Applicants with a Diploma in a relevant field in Drylands were also encouraged to apply with main emphasis being students from the drylands communities.

For the past few years University of Nairobi (UoN), Kibwezi field station has been neglected. Located approximately 250 Kilometers from the capital Centre Nairobi in a dryland area, the field station was at one time almost on its death bed. This is despite education value the center’s vicinity holds for drylands students. Students have had to persevere the dropping in standards of the facility.

In line with the need to provide a serene environment for education and research to thrive, the Centre for Sustainable Dryland Ecosystems and Societies (CSDES); a partnership program between the University of Nairobi (UoN) and Colorado State University (CSU) has restored its lost glory. Among the structures that got a lion’s share in the renovation project were students’ hostels, the dining hall and water carriage systems across the station.

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