Geographical Information Systems ultra modern laboratory equipped with state of the art GIS software was launched at College of Agriculture and Veterinary Services today, Wednesday February 11, 2015 by the Deputy Chief of Missions, US Embassy, H. E. Isaih Parnell.
Speaking during the launch, the Deputy Ambassador noted that the partnership between the University of Nairobi and Colorado State University has enhanced the quality and depth of education for students and helped to ensure that they graduate with 21st century skills that contribute to Kenya’s growth and development.
He further revealed that the US Government is investing 6.5 billion Kenya Shillings to help the pastoralists’ communities adapt and bounce back from future droughts more quickly and effectively than before. He expressed his hope that the students who will graduate from these programs will advocate for these communities; so that they have the tools they need to weather the crisis.
He added that the value of this partnership is about what Kenyans living in the pastoral communities have achieved. He challenged the students to create tangible solutions for their communities and Kenyans at large.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Peter Mbithi thanked the USAID for the support in the construction of the Lab. He noted that since the partnership started the University has benefited from PhD Fellowships, research grants and establishment of degree programs that focus on dry lands issues. Prof. Mbithi also divulged that the University has improved in its webometrics ranking from position 9 to position 7 in Africa.
On her part, the College Principal, Prof. Agnes Mwan’gombe was grateful at the opening of the GIS lab located at LARMAT (Land Resource and Agricultural Technology). She further revealed that the Vice-Chancellor has been in support of the partnership for a long time.
The upgraded GIS lab will serve more than 2000 students who will be able to carry out their research on climate change and use their knowledge to help the pastoral communities and contribute to Kenya’s growth and development.