A proposal drafted by University staff was approved on 2ndFebruary, 2021 by the UNESCO Selection Committee for establishment of a UNESCO Chair on Conservation of Environment and Water for Sustainable Development (CEWSD) to be hosted by Chuka University.

The proponents argued that Communities in ASALs are faced with many challenges like severe water scar-city, food insecurity, wanton destruction of vegetation and general land degradation. The UN General As-sembly resolution 64/292 of July 28, 2010 noted that lack of access to clean water and sanitation are human right violations. The resolution calls upon nations to provide resources, build capacity and transfer technolo-gy to help countries provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable water and sanitation for all. Chuka Uni-versity’s proposal is anchored on the UNESCO’s MLA 3 on improving knowledge and strengthening capac-itiesatalllevelstoachievewatersecurity.Accordingly,theproposedprojectwillpromotewaterharvestingtechnologies and conservation of catchment areas in the ASALs. The targeted youths will cascade the en-hanced technologies and appliances to their local levels. The longterm objective of the proposed UNESCO Chair is to improve community’s access to water and to rehabilitate degraded lands and water catchment areas. The project activities include:

1) Shortterm training of trainers (TOTs), comprising youths, practi-tioners, community members, schools, colleges and other stakeholders in water harvesting technologies, environmental conservation approaches, EIA and Audits.

2) Researching to optimize water harvesting tech-nologies, including roof, rock and tree catchment systems, soil and sand river storage systems, and water pans.

3) Enhancing institutional development through availing and strengthening of information/library resources, as well as laboratory equipment for analysis of water samples.The Project team has: Prof. Erastus N. Njoka, ViceChancellor, Prof. Dorcas K. Isutsa, DVC (Academic, Research & Student Affairs), Prof. Gilbert Mbaka Nduru, Dr. Evans Mutuma, Dr. Lemmy M. Muriuki, Dr. Peter K. Gakai, and Dr. Aga-tha M. Nthenge. It will cost US$ 72,500 and run for three years before it is reviewed for renewal.


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