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Date and time: 
Thu, 2013-11-14 13:07
Location / Venue: 

Bomen Hotel Isiolo County

The Centre for Sustainable Dryland Ecosystems and Societies (CSDES) and the African Development Solutions (ADESO) through the project on Resilience and Economic Growth in the Arid Lands (REGAL-IR) and with sponsorship obtained from USAID organised for a one day workshop held on 24th October 2013 at Bomen hotel, Isiolo.

The theme of the workshop was to identify opportunities for resilience building and economic growth in the drylands.  The workshop served as a forum for dissemination of findings of CSDES-supported research carried out in ASAL areas, as well as an opportunity to gather feedback from stakeholders in Isiolo County. The research was conducted by graduate (PhD) students and faculty members.

The objectives of the workshop were to:

  1. Share research findings from studies conducted in the drylands of Kenya, more specifically on Camel milk value chain, pastures, animal health, food security and community development dynamics.
  2. Acquire stakeholder’s opinions and recommendations on the study findings,  and discuss with stakeholders on the action areas for future research and ways of partnership
  3. Propose the way forward for dissemination of research findings and implementation at community and county level.

Prof. J.T. Njoka, Director, CSDES welcomed the participants and highlighted the objectives of the workshop. He underscored the enormous potential of drylands despite long held myths and perceptions. He observed that sustainable dry land management strategies should enhance economic and social wellbeing of dryland communities and enable them to sustain their ecosystem services while strengthening their adaptive capacity to manage environmental change.

Making his remarks, Prof. R. K. Ngugi, Acting Dean, Faculty of Agriculture noted that the University of Nairobi attached a high importance to drylands as evidenced by the various initiatives. That include; establishment of the department of land resource and agricultural technology (LARMAT)  in the 1980’s, the setting up of  Kibwezi farm for research and training purposes and the development of the regional doctorate programme in dryland resource management.

Dr. Robert Groelsema the Chief of Party, Resilience and Economic Growth in Arid Lands- Improving Resilience (REGAL-IR) programme represented ADESO.  While addressing the participants, Dr. Groelsema said that the idea of venturing and investing in the drylands was taking root as evidenced by various initiatives. He gave an example of Sidai Africa Ltd whose mission is to provide high quality animal drugs and vaccines and offer a range of on-farm services including packages in preventative animal health care and improved production.

Three PhD students and two faculty members from UoN got a chance to present their research findings. The students included; Mr. Yazan Ahmed Elhadi, Mr. Koech Oscar Kipchirchir and Mr. Patrick Watete. The faculty members were; Prof. Peter Gathumbi and Prof. Kogi Makau.

At the end of the workshop, all the participants felt that the avenue provided a great platform that allowed researchers and communities to interact and the knowledge gained would go a long way to solving dryland issues. Participants called on the organisers to initiate such forums in other dryland Counties such as Marsabit and Turkana.

The workshop resolutions will target to enhance action research and uptake of appropriate technologies as well as demonstrate best practices in building resilience in ASALs. This will in the long run contribute to improved livelihoods and community adaptation to extreme climate variability and change in the drylands of Kenya. 


Expiry Date: 
Thu, 2015-10-01 13:07
Contact Person: 

Prof Njoka

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