Research

The School is located in south eastern Kenya in Kitui County, about 160 km from the city of Nairobi. The area in which the school is located is surrounded by gentle hills that drains into the Mikuyuni and Mwita Syano Rivers- the two important tributaries of the famous Tiva river, which eventually drains into the Tana Basin. The location of the School in Kitui combined with the beauty of a typical semi-arid rural environment common to many parts of Kenya, provides an ideal environment for serious academic pursuit. The tropical semi-arid climate, diverse landscapes and unique vegetation of South Eastern Kenya also provides a broad range of water related issues to study.

Many communities in the arid and semi-arid region of Kenya rely on both surface and ground water resources. Also, a significant segment of the population depends on surface water reservoirs (dams) for provision of water. This provides the staff in the school an opportunity of conducting research on how water resources in this region can be used on sustainable basis. Staff in the School therefore work jointly with our stakeholders and students on various water related research projects. Our students are introduced to various subjects that are important in water resources management such as hydrological processes, surface water and groundwater hydrology, watershed erosion and reservoir sedimentation, climate change, water governance, water resources and fisheries management, aquaculture technologies, among other equally important subjects.

Since the rainfall in arid and semi arid regions of Kenya is characterised by high inter- and intra-annual variability which induces challenges in the management of water for various purposes, this is a major focus of our research in the School. The School in particular pays special attention to surface runoff harvesting and storage and its subsequent use for various socio-economic activities such as horticulture, irrigation and aquaculture development in arid and semi-arid lands. Other research programmes are focused on the river basin process, impacts of climate change on hydrological systems, fisheries and aquaculture technologies, among others. The location of the School in arid and semi arid environment that is already experiencing the impacts of climate change means that our researchers and students have an opportunity to carry out innovative research studies on the impacts of climate change on water resources, fisheries and aquatic systems. This also means that our students have a wide choice on topics for their undergraduate and postgraduate research projects.