Chuka University UNESCO Chair on Conservation of Environment and Water for Sustainable Development (CEWSD)

Summary of the Project

  1. Communities in ASALs: Challenged with severe water scarcity, food insecurity, wanton destruction of vegetation and general land degradation.
  2. UN General Assembly resolution 64/292 of July 28, 2010: Lack of access to clean water and sanitation are human right violations.
  3. Call: Nations to provide resources, build capacity and transfer technology to help countries provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable water and sanitation for all.
  4. Chair: Will promote water harvesting technologies and catchment areas conservation in the ASALs.
  5. Target youths (TOTs): Cascade the enhanced technologies and appliances to local levels.



Long-term: Improve access to water and rehabilitate degraded lands and water catchment areas.


Chuka University is the 9th Chartered Public University in Kenya. It started prophetically around colonial times in the 1950’s when area residents decided to use education to develop their livelihoods and do away with colonial masters. It is located in Meru South, Tharaka-Nithi County, at about 180 km from Nairobi city on the slopes of Mt. Kenya. It was the first institution of higher learning to be established in Eastern Kenya. Prior to that, all the rest were to the West.

Chuka University (CU) is an institution of higher learning which since inception has charted a clear pathway to academic excellence. The establishment of a great learning institution in Chuka was foretold way back in 1951 by the then renowned seer Jerusha Kanyua. Subsequently, the Chuka community built a Craft Centre in 1956 at Ndagani-Chuka to train school leavers to acquire skills that could be useful in nation-building. With the diligent efforts of many, the Centre was upgraded to a Youth Polytechnic in 1969, building the technical skills of the youth in a variety of aspects and setting the platform for leveraging on their education as a driver of local growth and development

On the strength of governance and administrative structures, physical and human resources development, capacity building discourses and efforts that Chuka University was positioned in a prime position for establishing the UNESCO Chair on Conservation of Environment and Water for Sustainable Development (CEWSD).

The CEWSD Profile

Project Title

Conservation of Environment and Water for Sustainable Development (CEWSD)

Expected Starting Date

January, 2022


4 Years

Domain(s) or Discipline(s) Concerned

Natural Sciences

Name and Full Address of Host Institution

Chuka University, P. O. Box 109-60400, Chuka, Kenya

Faculty/Department Concerned

Faculty of Environmental Studies and Resources Development / Department of Environmental Studies and Resources Development

Project Description

Type of project: UNESCO Chair

Domain(s) or Discipline(s): Natural Sciences

Project’s Correspondence to UNESCO’s Priorities for 2018-2021

Project’s Correspondence to the Medium Term Strategy for 2014-2021

Project’s Correspondence to Sustainable Development Agenda 6, 8, 11, 13

  1. SDG 6: Ensuring access to water and sanitation for all,
  2. SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth,
  3. SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities, and
  4. SDG 13: Climate action.
Expected results/outputs
  1. A total of 500 students trained in EIAA, environmental education, entrepreneurship, and Global Citizen Education (GCE), and participation in water resources harnessing as research assistants
  2. A total of 200 youths and 1,000 community households in ASALs trained in water harnessing.
  3. A total of 200 practitioners trained in EIA and Audits, occupational health and safety, and entrepreneurship related to water harnessing and resources development.
  4. Maps showing suitable areas for rainwater harvesting developed using ICT enhanced RS and GIS technologies and demonstrations installed for field training.


Target Beneficiaries
Practitioners (farmers, fabricators, government officials)200%
Community households (women, men, youth, disabled, marginalised and vulnerable)1000%

Project Chair:

Prof. Erastus Nyaga Njoka, Vice-Chancellor

Project Lead:

Prof. Dorcas K. Isutsa, DVC (Academic, Research & Student Affairs)

Project Mentor:

Prof. Gilbert Mbaka Nduru

Project Coordinator:

Dr. Evans Mutuma

Project Officer 1:

Dr. Lemmy Mureti Muriuki

Project Officer 2:

Dr. Peter King’ori Gakai

Project Officer 3:

Dr. Agatha Mutio Nthenge

Dr. Eugine Mukhwana

OSHA/Disaster Management

Dr. James Kiramana

Plant Nursery Establishment and Business

Dr. Willy Kiboi

Human Nutrition

Dr. Monica Oundo

Educational Psychology

Ms. Catherine Wairimu Thiong’o 

Project Planning and Management

Mr. Saif Kinyori

ICT/Website/Billboards Development



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