The Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Innovation and Linkages (DVC-RIL), Prof. Peter Mwita had a tour of the Machakos University research project at Thwake Water Multipurpose Dam in Makueni County, on Saturday, 16th January 2021. The DVC was accompanied by Dr.Wycliffe Amukowa, the Registrar (RIL). This tour was in line with research monitoring of the
project being undertaken by Mr. Benson Wang’ombe. Mr. Wang’ombe won an internal research grant to carry a project on Water desalination, which has been scaled up and supported by the National Drought Management Authority.

Mr. Wang’ombe (Centre) introduces his project to Prof. Mwita (left) and Dr. Amukowa (to the right

During the visit and tour, the DVC was able to see Mr. Wang’ombe’s two projects: one of the Projects, “Design of a Vacuum Solar Water Desalination Plant to investigate purification of River Athi Water”. is a partial sponsorship to the tune of one million Kenya shillings by National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) and European Union leading to his PhD in Kenyatta University. This work is under the NDMA’s Ending Droughts Emergencies Programme (EDE). Mr. Wang’ombe worn this grant after responding to an advert circulated by the DVC (RIL) office.

The EDE strategy seeks to strengthen the institutions responsible for managing drought risks. To achieve this, six broad areas called ‘Pillars’ have been identified to meet the EDE objectives; Peace and security, Climate-proofed infrastructure, Human capital, Sustainable livelihoods, Drought Risk Management, Institutional development and knowledge management. The EDE, therefore, focuses on measures that make people less vulnerable to the effects of drought and that improve the quality of response when drought strikes. Policy brief for use by NDMA and other Government departments.

The second research work is “Solar Water Desalination in a Vacuum of Infinite volume” funded by Machakos University internal Research Grant to the Tune of Kenya shillings four hundred and fifty, to investigate effect of increasing the volume of the vacuum chamber on Water desalination.

Later on, the DVC was taken around the whole Dam by staff and held discussions on the opportunities for Machakos University that arise from this project and in particular, attachments and internship for engineering students in such areas as dam construction, tunnel drilling, environmental and safety engineering. The Dam also gives research opportunities for staff which the Management of the Dam could harness. Employment opportunities also exist in areas of consultancies, for example, Thwake Dam. One only to google “Engineering consultants” and many will appear, and then check for vacancies

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