About us

PARTNERS AND LINKAGES

EDUCATION AND TRAINING

Research

DISSEMINATIONS

Joint Management Committee (VU, SEKU and MU)

S/NO

STUDENT

GENDER

LEVEL OF STUDY

WHERE REGISTERED

RESEARCH TOPIC

1.       

Lincoln Githenya

M

MSc

South Eastern Kenya University

Geology and economic mineralization of the Neoproterozoic Mozambique belt rocks of the Makongo area, Kitui County.

2.       

Willys Oduke Onyango

M

MSc

South Eastern Kenya University

Effects of Land Use and Land Cover Changes on Cropland and their Implications on Household Food Security in Kitui Central Sub-county, Kitui County

3.       

Elizabeth Kakiya

F

MSc

Egerton University

Relationship between Financial Leverage and Profitability of Listed Manufacturing Firms in Kenya Relationship between Financial Leverage and Profitability of Listed Manufacturing Firms in Kenya

4.       

Mercy Kalio

F

MSc

South Eastern Kenya University

Knowledge and Management of Menstrual Hygiene by School Going Adolescent  of Mulundi Sub-Location 

5.       

Fransisca Kasyoka

F

MSc

South Eastern Kenya University

Assessing the Socio-Economic Impact of the Older People Cash Transfer among the Elderly in Mulundi Sub-Location in Kitui County

6.       

Dorcas M. Mutemi

F

MSc

South Eastern Kenya University

Analysis of water quality of water resources in Kauwi and Zombe Locations, Kitui County

7.       

Sarah Ngesu

F

PhD

University of Dar-es-Salaam

Evaluation of the use of translation strategies in the teaching of Kiswahili as a foreign language in Uganda

8.       

Susan Nguku

F

PhD

South Eastern Kenya University

Evaluation of Chemical Composition, Feed Intake and Rumen Digestica Kinetics of Brachiria Brizantha Decumbens CV Basilisk Grasses  

9.       

Mugo Jane Wangui

F

 

PhD

University of Nairobi

Suitability of Green Gram Production in Kenya Under Changing Climate

10.   

Alice Theuri

F

PhD

Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology

Development of a telecommunication tool for the management of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus among adult patients aged 21-70 years at Kitui District Hospital

11.   

Jane. W. Wanjihia

F

PhD

South Eastern Kenya University

Gender Differentials in Utilization of Loans for Livelihood Improvement in Kenya

12.   

Evelyn Mutunga

F

PhD

South Eastern Kenya University

Smallholder Farmers’ Vulnerability to Climate Variability and Extremes in Kitui County, Kenya

13.   

Onesmus Kyambo

M

PhD

South Eastern Kenya University

Impact of Agricultural Sector Devolution on Delivery of Agricultural Extension Services and Agricultural Productivity in Kitui County, Kenya

14.   

Sylvester Mutavi

M

PhD

South Eastern Kenya University

Influence of Feed Enzyme Technology on Animal Performance and Production in South Eastern Kenya Rangelands

15.   

Ratemo Nyaribo

M

PhD

University of Nairobi

Effects of Trade Unions on Sustainable performance of Kenya Universities

16.   

Osir Otteng

M

PhD

Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology

Incorporating Interpersonal Communication as a Tool for Improving the Uptake of Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision In Siaya County, Kenya

DR. DENYSE SNELDER

DR. DENYSE SNELDER
Dr. Denyse Snelder obtained her PhD in 1993 at the University of Toronto, Canada, based on her research focusing on vegetative control of soil erosion in the semi-arid Baringo District, Kenya.She holds a full-time position at the VrijeUniversiteit Amsterdam as senior advisor and director of various research and capacity building projects, such asSpatial Planning for Agribusiness and Public Policy Development in greater Western Kenya (SPADE), funded by NUFFIC; Natural Resource Management and Conflict Resolution for Stability and Inclusive Growth in the Greater Virunga Landscape (3CProject), funded by NUFFIC; ASustainable Approach to Livelihood Improvement in Kenya (ASALI), funded through a legacy by VU Amsterdam.Until 2009, Dr Snelder was the coordinator and later head of the Cagayan Valley Program on Environment and Development (CVPED), the joint research and education programme of the Leiden University and the Isabela State University in Philippine). Dr Snelder has conducted extensive research in the Philippines, and, over the past few years, extended her activities through projects in sub-Saharan Africa. She further contributes to various courses and training in the field of food and water security, sustainable land and water management, research design and proposal writing, and curriculum review and development.



PROF. ANNE KISAKA NANGULUPROF. ANNE KISAKA NANGULU
Prof. Nanguluis the Principal and Chief Executive Officer of Bomet University College, Kenya. Until her appointment to the position this year, she was an Economic Historian in the Department of History, Political Science and Public Administration at Moi University, Kenya. Prof. Nangulualso served as Deputy Secretary for Quality Audit and Standards at Kenya’s Commission for University Education from 2014 to 2019. She attained her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in History from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, in 1986 and 1990 respectively; and PhD in History from West Virginia University, USA, in 2001. Prof Nangulu is the Kenya country coordinator and Moi University’s Principal Investigator for A Sustainable Approach to Livelihood Improvement (ASALI) Project. Besides, Prof Nangulu has participated in European Union funded projects, includingAfriQ’Units (EDULINK Project I): “Sustainability of Quality Culture in East African High Education Institutions through Centralized Units”– Focus: Training University Staff to Run Quality Units; ENRICH (EDULINK Project II), “Enhancing Energy Accessibility & Efficiency through Establishing Sustainable Science, Technology and innovation (STI) Support National Networks with a Regional Dimension in East Africa”; and SUCCEED Network (EDULINK Project II) – “East Africa Higher Education Network on Sustainable Energy and Energy Efficient Campus Development.


COLETTE GERARDSCOLETTE GERARDS
Colette Gerards studied Cultural Anthropology at the Universiteit van Amsterdam, specializing in Medical Anthropology and Development Studies. She joined VrijeUniversiteit from NWO/WOTRO in 2010 to coordinate the SKILL-programme that ended in 2014. She continued her work at CIS coordinating the VU part in the EMA2SA consortium and as coordinator for many of the activities and projects with the South Africa VU Strategic Alliances Programme. Large scale projects in South Africa include project management for EPE (Enhancing Postgraduate Environment – Erasmus Plus Capacity Building for Higher Education)and KA1 Mobility South Africa (also Erasmus Plus). Besides, she is involved in two large scale projects in Kenya, the Nuffic NICHE funded SPADE project as well as the ASALI project funded through the legacy of late MsGrietjeWille. Other engagements include the Management and facilitation of a number of Tailor-Made Training and assisting Nuffic in setting up the NESO office South Africa, with vast experience and wide network within the South African academic circles. Colette is accountant manager for the region ‘Africa’ for VU International Office, facilitating partnerships and maintaining contracts. Sheis also the coordinator for the VU programme for Academic Freedom/Scholars at Risk.


PROF MARY MBURUPROF MARY MBURU
Prof Mburu is the SEKU-ASALI Project Principal Investigator and coordinator. She is a trained agronomist, with a PhD degree in agronomy from the University of Reading, United Kingdom, Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. Her teaching career spans over a period about 30 years, 14 of which were at the University of Nairobi and close to 10 at South Eastern Kenya University, where she also holds the post of Registrar, Administration and Human Resource management. Besides her role as the SEKU-ASALI Project principal investigator and coordinator, Professor Mburu is the activity lead for the project’s AWP&B. He research interests include growth of leguminous crops, agro-forestry, animal pastures and range management.


 SABINA DI PRIMASABINA DI PRIMA
Sabina is a sustainable land management specialist at the Centre for International Cooperation at the VrijeUUniversiteit (VU). Her work focuses on food security, natural resource management, climate-smart agriculture, indigenous knowledge, local farmer innovation and rural development. Sabina is a certified university teacher (BKO), with a MSc in Environment and Resource Management from the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) of the VU Amsterdam and a BSc in Business and Economics from the University of Catania, Italy. She is currently pursuing her PhD studies at the Athena Institute of VU Amsterdam, with her research focusing on comparative case study analyses and the development of a generic framework to scale-up Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture (NSA) interventions in different contexts. Since 2014, she has co-facilitated three Preparatory Doctoral tailor-made trainings held at the VU for potential PhD students from Ethiopia and Kenya. She has field experience in technical backstopping and oversight of rural development projects mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa. She was member of the Technical Advisory Group for the UNEP-GEF funded project: “Stimulating Community Initiatives in Sustainable Land Management” (SCI-SLM) from 2009 to 2016. She was also a member of the International Support Team and the Programme Oversight Group for the DGIS funded international network programme PROLINNOVA from 2006 to 2010.


 

INTRODUCTION

A Sustainable Approach to Livelihood Improvement (ASALI) project is a collaborative arrangement that bring together the VrijeUniversiteit (VU) Amsterdam, Moi University (MU) and South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU). It is hinged on the premise that agriculture plays a vital role in Kenya’s efforts to eradicate poverty and achieve its general socio-economic development aspirations. The project seeks to contribute towards improving livelihoods, particularly among the marginalised groups. Livelihood-based approaches have increasingly come to dominate the analysis of poverty and food insecurity, and the design of anti-poverty and famine prevention interventions, especially at the local level. A livelihood entails a household’s capabilities, assets and activities required to secure basic needs – food, water, shelter, health, education and income. Food security is seen to be achieved when all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food which meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. It, thus, encompasses availability of adequate quantities of a diversity of food commodities such as cereals other than maize, fruits, vegetables and animal products that meet both amounts and nutritional requirements. Nutrition security is said to exist when food security is combined with education, a sanitary environment, adequate health services and proper care and feeding practices to ensure a healthy life for the entire household.

The project endeavours to identify knowledge gaps and empower communities and institutions through educational and training programmes, promotion and adoption of technologies for harvesting rainwater and surface runoff such as sand dams, earth dams, water pans, and rock catchments. It also strives to discover and disseminate knowledge on the harvesting of rainwater and surface runoff and subsequent utilization in intensive agriculture, agro-forestry and aquaculture in ways that can yield socio-economic benefits and alleviate poverty. The ASALs are characterized by a generally hot and dry climate, with low and erratic rainfall that varies widely across space and over time. The evapo-transpiration rates are more than twice the annual rainfall, and drought and floods are common. The main source of livelihood for ASAL inhabitants is extensive livestock production, primarily through pastoralism and agropastoralism. Over half the populations of ASALs live below the poverty line, subsisting on less than one US dollar a day. Majority of the people in the region depend on relief food and are malnourished. Resource-based conflicts over pasture and water are rife. They are exacerbated by increased competition and diminishing role of traditional governance systems, weakening of traditional institutions, and growing levels of poverty and unemployment among the youth.

The ASALI Project is funded through the legacy of the late Ms GrietjeWille for the education of people from developing countries wiling to serve society and contribute to the development of their countries. The project is coordinated through the Centre for International Cooperation (CIS), on behalf of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. It supports research and education capacity building of both Moi University and South Eastern Kenya University. The Project’s overall aim is to contribute through transdisciplinary research and education to the development of sustainable and innovative methods of livelihood improvement for local communities. It focuses on disadvantaged groups, such as small-scale farmers, women and youth in the vicinity of the partner universities in western and south-eastern Kenya.

OBJECTIVES

The overall objective of the ASALI project is to use integrated and trans-disciplinary approaches to investigate aspects of livelihood improvement, including sustainable natural resource management, entrepreneurial opportunities and value chain development, renewable energy, nutrition in relation to child and maternal health, and, finally, as a crosscutting theme, information access through ICT, among farmers in western and south eastern Kenya. There are four thematic areas and, hence, four broad objectives, with a fifth crosscutting objective, ICT. Those which encompass focus on research, training, and capacity development, with emphasis on disadvantaged groups such as small-scale farmers, women and youth are:

  1. To use sustainable natural resource management strategies to enhance water and food security for sustainable livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
  2. To examine the influence of value chain development, entrepreneurial opportunities, and innovations on poverty alleviation among the women and youth in improving livelihoods in western and southeastern Kenya.
  3. To explore the use of sustainable renewable energy and its contribution to entrepreneurial Job Creation options for youth and women in western and southeastern Kenya.
  4. To assess the determinants of nutritional status and its health effects among women and children in western and south eastern Kenya.
  5. To demonstrate how the use of ICT and its applications can be instrumental in the documentation and dissemination of real time information on sustainable livelihood and natural resource management in southeastern and western Kenya for sustainable livelihoods.

The ASALI objective and thematic areas clearly link to Kenya’s Vision 2030 which describes the way in which “Kenya will be transformed from a low income, agrarian economy into a newly industrialised, middle income country by 2030, providing a high quality of life to all its citizens in a clean and secure environment”. The Vision identifies energy and entrepreneurship as key elements in achieving sustained economic growth and transformation.The Government of Kenya supports these elements through programmes that contribute to enhanced equity and wealth creation opportunities for the poor. In addition, Food security is a prerequisite for the Vision’s goal of providing high quality life to all citizens. The achievement of national food security is a key objective of the agricultural sector and is placed high on the Kenyan Government agenda, where natural resource management plays a crucial role in making food security a sustainable achievement at local and national levels.

PROGRESS

The ASALI project is scheduled to a period of four years, which end in 2019. The first year comprised an inception phase that was characterized by setting the stage, resources mobilization and implementation of some selected activities. Critical stakeholder sensitization meetings on the intents of the project and, write shops were carried out in the period. An output of this included building of linkages and networks as part of ensuring sustainability in the endeavours.The subsequent years have seen research, training and outreach activities take place. Two PhD students (one from Moi University and the other SEKU) are due to graduate. SEKU has been active on researches on pasture growing in the ASALs, which are going on in Kajiado County. There has been ample work on forestry activities revolving around appropriate species for the marginal areas. Research on water has involved the social, technical, environmental and management implications in its accessibility and use in the ASALs. 2019 will see all the set work completed and resultant reports compiled. The Moi University ASALI project has concentrated on health and energy.

In 2019, SEKU received €4,000 to assist in training staff and students at Masters and PhD levels. The funds have been allocated to 17 needy students that will also access part of the funds to disseminate their research findings. The 2019 SEKU ASALI Annual Workplan and Budget AWP&B) has been launched. The document, which has been made in a participatory way, is a guide to the year’s implementation plan and, a monitoring and evaluation tool. The year will also see a launch of the SEKUASALI website. Towards the end of the year, an evaluation of the entire project will be done as it winds up. One of the outputs of the project will be an indication on how to sustain the endeavours of the project after the exit of the current donor.

One milestone is the 2018 ASALI conference organised by the three partner institutions titled: Towards Food Security, Sustainable Energy and Successful Entrepreneurship, which ran from 10-12 April at Moi University. The conference whose theme mirrored that of the Vision 2030 was organized to present and discuss the project’s research outputs and provide a platform for stakeholders active in similar fields to engage and share their views and knowledge on findings. The conference was a success and well attended by a diverse audience that was treated to over 15 paper presentations and more than 20 pitches by local and foreign stakeholders, university staff, and graduate and postgraduate students.

PROJECT INFORMATION

Time span of the Project 2014 – 2019
Contact Person Dr Denyse Snelder (project director)
Project Director Dr Denyse Snelder
Project Partners CIS-VU (lead organization), Athena, SBE/ACE, Faculty of Science; Moi University (MU, Kenya); South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU, Kenya)
Project Sponsor Legacy of Ms Grietje Wille
SEKU Project Lead Prof Mary Wambui Mburu
SEKU Activity Leads Dr. Dorothy Amwata
Dr. Moses Mwangi
Dr. Patricl Kisangau
Dr. Patrick Kariuki
Dr. Charles Ndungu
Mr.Osir Otteng