Turkana opens first university - Daily Nation

Turkana opens first university

Saturday September 26 2015

From left; Turkana County Governor Josphat Nanok, chief guest Kristina Kenyatta-Pratt, chairperson, Board of Trustees National Fund for the Disabled in Kenya and Mount Kenya University Chairman Dr Simon Gicharu unveil a commemorative plaque after the official opening of the Mount Kenya University Lodwar Campus on September 26, 2015. PHOTO | ANTHONY NJAGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

From left; Turkana County Governor Josphat Nanok, chief guest Kristina Kenyatta-Pratt, chairperson, Board of Trustees National Fund for the Disabled in Kenya and Mount Kenya University Chairman Dr Simon Gicharu unveil a commemorative plaque after the official opening of the Mount Kenya University Lodwar Campus on September 26, 2015. PHOTO | ANTHONY NJAGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ANTHONY NJAGI
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It was pomp and colour as Turkana County on Saturday officially launched its first university in Lodwar.

Cultural troupes from Lodwar welcomed guests who included Kristina Kenyatta–Pratt, Turkana County Governor Josphat Nanok, Mount Kenya University Chairman Dr Simon Gicharu and the Vice Chancellor, Prof Stanley Waudo, among others.

The Mount Kenya University commissioned its new Lodwar Campus Science and Technology complex.

This is Kenya’s first university to be established in the vast, resource-rich area of north Kenya. The university established the campus in 2011, as a teaching centre for teachers.  

The Lodwar campus is a veritable oasis in the desert, from where the inhabitants of this arid area can find its pathways to prosperity through knowledge.

The campus was under the ambit of the Eldoret campus. Gradually, it became a fully-fledged campus, accredited by the Commission for University Education.  

“The campus hosts the university’s Institute of Petroleum Studies and Renewable Energy, and is a centre of excellence in training on matters related to energy,” said Mount Kenya University VC Prof Stanley Waudo.

Dr Simon Gicharu said the campus was the most difficult to construct. He said: “First, the only easily available raw material is sand. We had to bring the bricks, and the other materials from Nairobi. But our commitment to provide a safe and stimulating learning environment in Turkana outweighed these challenges.”

Dr Gicharu said the university is working closely with the Turkana County Government.

“Turn it into a ladder through which you can climb higher, to even better and bigger opportunities,” governor Nanok said in his advice to the students.