Kenyan Universities Share Experiences On ‘Going Green’ Towards Mitigation of Climate Change Effects


A section of attendees of the Kenya Green Universities Network (KGUN) Webinar- Top Left is Prof. Izael Da Silva (Strathmore University), Chairman of KGUN and bottom left is Prof. P. Aloo-Obudho (Karatina University), Co-Chair of KGUN.

Karatina University, in collaboration with Strathmore University, on Friday, 21st October 2022, held the Kenya Green

Universities Network (KGUN) Webinar. Guided by the Theme ‘Reinvigorating the Kenya Green Universities Network: Sharing Experiences and Strategizing

Future Activities’, the Webinar was attended by a selected more than ten (10) local universities which shared experiences on the implementation of the Green Universities Agenda.

Speaking on behalf of the Vice Chancellor of Karatina University, Prof. Mucai Muchiri, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academic and Student Affairs and the KGUN Co-Chairman, Prof. Peninah Aloo-Obudho, said the need for Universities to go green in their activities cannot be over-emphasized in the face of global climate change, loss of biodiversity and pollution.

‘To go green as a University is not just putting up structures and systems which are environmentally friendly but also ensuring resource efficiency through our operations’ she said.

Further, she stated that simple activities such as effectively managing wastes generated by universities, transiting to solar, conserving water and energy, creating green spaces within the University and embedding green activities in the curriculum will go a long way in addressing the three planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.

Prof. Izael Da Silva giving his remarks

The Chairman of KGUN, and the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) of Strathmore University,

Prof. Izael Da Silva, said that Kenya Green Universities Network is a network of Higher Education

Institutions (HEIs) in Kenya with the aim of incorporating environment, low carbon climate resilience, development strategies and sustainability aspects in their education, training, campus operations and enhanced student engagement. These identified higher education institutions have committed themselves to a two-year implementation plan focusing on four key thematic areas: Behaviour Change, Greening Campuses, Greening Curricula and Community Engagement that are aligned to the UN Environment Education’s unit activities.

On the green activities at Strathmore University, Prof Da Silva shared that Strathmore University has fully adopted solar energy, has energy saving bulbs, created green spaces and has participated in tree planting activities.

Greening Initiatives at Karatina University

On behalf of Karatina University, Prof. Mugo Mware, the Chairperson of the Green University Committee, said that the University is playing a big role in biodiversity management and climate change mitigation. Having registered the “Green Entrepreneurial University” label with the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), the University has put in place various programmes to Green the systems, processes and procedures, and incorporate environmental sustainability and efficiency in its operations, curriculum, infrastructure and lifestyle.

Green Cycling Competition

Prof. Mware listed a number of ways the University is doing this; it has established the Green University Committee, Centre for Mountain Studies and Climate Change, the School of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies and the School of Agriculture and Biotechnology which offer green curricula, establishment of sixty-five (65) environmental clubs in primary schools in Nyeri County, use of

Green Innovation and Green Cycling Competitions to promote the Green Agenda thus promoting green awareness, hosting environmental conferences and workshops, establishment of the Botanical Garden, mounting environmental awareness and waste management programmes, involvement in tree planting within and outside the University and establishment of woodlots in schools.

Energy-saving sticker

On energy saving, Prof. Mware said that the University has strategically placed stickers with energy-saving messages near switches, has a borehole that is fully run by solar energy and provision of waste segregation bins within the University.

Shared Experiences

Each University shared experiences of their greening initiatives. These ranged from setting up a Research Renewable Centre, use of kitchen waste to generate power, adopting e-learning and also administering exams online, automation of services to help reduce the usage of paper, use of alternative bulbs that save energy, installation of solar panels, formation of Green Initiative Hubs/Programmes that bring together environmental clubs, banks, county governments, holding of Green

Education Days where students share knowledge gathered in their research.

Further, these Universities collaborate with industries that deal with building materials to reduce raw materials that emit carbon by using alternative raw materials that are environmentally friendly, mainstreaming a common course that touches on the environment, the different challenges it faces and matters of climate change, tree planting by consolidating clubs that are student-led and water harnessing by boring holes whose water is pumped using solar energy.

Next Steps

As the participating universities set targets to fully go green, they also committed themselves to expanding KGUN to more universities through an

already-formed Steering Committee. Further, they look forward to partnering with experts to provide knowledge on low-cost strategies for greening universities. They also intend to hold a series of webinars to sensitize universities on the Greening Universities Agenda.

The Universities present included:

  • Izael Da Silva – Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Strathmore University and Chairman, KGUN;
  • Peninah Aloo-Obudho – Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic, Research and Students Affairs), Karatina University and Co-Chair, KGUN;
  • Michael Ntabo – Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and Students Affairs), Rongo University;
  • Peter B. Gichangi – Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic, Research and Extension), Technical University of Mombasa;
  • Godrick Bulitia – Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and Students Affairs), Maasai Mara University;
  • Kiplangat Kotut – Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic, Research & Extension), University of Embu;
  • Julius Kipkemboi- Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic and Students Affairs), Kaimosi Friends University;
  • Elyjoy Micheni, Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic, Research and Students Affairs), Tom Mboya University;
  • Martha Kiarie – Dean, School of Science, Engineering and Health, Daystar University;
  • Jackline Nyerere- Coordinator, Growing Leaders Programme, Kenyatta University;