In a recent meeting of 18 public and private universities in June,2019 at UNEP headquarters, Karatina University was selected together with Strathmore University to spearhead the re-launch and Activities of the Kenya Universities Green Network ( KGUN)and to lead the effort to commit universities to going green. The meeting was attended by senior university leaders, student leaders, UNEP officials, Ministry of Environment officials and NEMA, among others. During the meeting, participants committed to going green in their universities. Karatina University Deputy Vice-Chancellor ( ARSA), Prof. P. Aloo-Obudho and the Deputy Vice-chancellor (Research Affairs) at Strathmore University, Prof. Izael Da Silva were selected as Co-Chairs to Coordinate the activities of KGUN.
Apart from the desire to go green, many universities are seeing the shift to adopting green technologies as a way to reduce costs and further sustainability. Working closely with the Ministry of Environment and the National Environment Management Authority, UN Environment will be hosting a Kenya University Summit in the coming months, calling on other Kenyan universities to join the network.
“Kenyan universities not only define the learning and careers of the next generation, they can also shape their behaviours,” said Juliette Biao, Africa Director for UN Environment. “We look forward to supporting the Green University Network to inspire Kenya’s students and to become a point of reference to other universities on the continent.”
Professor Aloo-Obudho ( DVC-ARSA) from Karatina University said: “The [Kenya Green University Network] meeting was timely and has helped me establish relevant contacts to support Karatina University’s green concept and solar energy project. Karatina University is at a very advanced stage to implement the green university project and intends to go solar in the near future.”
“Universities across Africa can run on the power of the sun and set new standards for sustainability,” said Professor da Silva of Strathmore University. “But it’s just not on the roofs of our campuses that we need to take action. We also need to support students to take action in support of the planet in their personal lives.”
This recognition of the efforts of Karatina University is a boost towards our dream of becoming a green University.
The Green University Network in Kenya draws on the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment’s Arusha Declaration “to strengthen environmental education and training and develop an action plan for Africa” and the lessons from Kenya will be shared at a ministerial meeting in South Africa in August.