The South Eastern Kenya University is proud to be associated with A Sustainable Approach to Livelihood Improve (ASALI) Project. The University feels honored to host the SEKU-ASALI Project, a component the larger ASALI Project. As a partner in the tripartite collaboration of Vrije (VU) Amsterdam of the Netherlands, Moi University of Kenya and South Eastern Kenya University SEKU), our University has realised valuable benefits of the Projects which have manifested in numerous ways.
The ASALI Project research activities target, in large part, the arid and semi lands (ASALs). The ASALs are home to 25 per cent of the Kenyan population accounting for close to 11.3 million people. With scarce and shifty rainfall patterns, and over 70 percent of Kenya’s livestock population the bulk of national game reserves, the ASALS are highly susceptible to land degradation, a situation that render the residents highly vulnerable in terms of food security.
Situated right in the ASAL region, SEKU, must of necessity, device and champion best practices in tackling and alleviating the long suffering among the local communities occasioned by perennial food insecurity, itself an offshoot of poor climatic conditions, environmental degradation, unsustainable water resource management and a general lack of foresight in the exploitation of available natural resources. Understandably, our academic and research focus as a university is on agriculture, health, environment and natural resources.
The significance of this partnership between us and Vrije Unversiteit Amsterdam, through the SEKU-ASALI Project,in helping SEKU to achieve its mandate cannot be overstated. The project has provided invaluable capacity building support through funding for our staff pursuing their PhD and master’s degree programmes. Besides, the area-specific shorts courses offered by the Project have seen our staff develop important skill and competencies in various areas, resulting in improved work output.
On their part, staff and students of SEKU have gained a great deal through the exchange programme between SEKU and VU. At the same time, the project has facilitated easy interaction between SEKU and our sister university, Moi, with the staff and students of the two institutions being able to share knowledge and experiences to bolster our academy programme delivery and research activities. The partnership has also allowed a flow of students from VU to take up diversified field researches in Kitui County.
Most importantly, the project has facilitated our outreach programme thus enhancing SEKU’s visibility in areas such as Kajiado, Makueni and Kitui counties, where our impact is now being felt in a positive manner as the SEKU-ASALIengage the local communities in range rehabilitation, grazing management, water harvesting, renewable energy and vulnerability monitoring among other livelihood enhancing activities.
The foregoing are important gains that we must all as patterns nurture and allow to blossom into even greater collaborative arrangements for the good of our humanity as was envisioned by the founder of the Legacy Fund. As the funding comes to a close later this year , SEKU is committed to sustaining the endeavours developed in the four years of external support.
Prof. Geoffrey M. Muluvi, PhD
South Eastern Kenya University