Front: Dr Judith Khazenzi (faculty), Mr Edward Juma (Regional Director of Environment Rep, North Rift Region), Dr. Jacob Lolelea (Chief Officer - Education, Sports & Social Protection, Turkana County), Mr. Moses Natome (Chief Officer - Water, Environment & Natural Resources, Turkana County), Prof. Teresa Akenga (Vice-Chancellor), Dr. Chris Saina (Ag. Dean, School of Environmental Studies), Dr. Nicholas Rop (Director - UoE Town Campus), Dr. Job Ng'etich (EIA/EA Coordinator, UoE), Ms. Sally Kibos (Director, Environment Uasin Gishu County)
Back: The partiipants from Turkana County together with faciulty - Dr. Shem Mwasi (second right), Dr. Eliud Yego (fifth right)
Environmental impact assessment is a systematic examination conducted to determine whether or not a programme, activity or project will have any adverse impacts on the environment while environmental audit is the systematic, documented, periodic and objective evaluation of how well environmental organization, management, and equipment are performing in conserving or preserving the environment.
The University of Eldoret through the School of Environment Study is currently conducting an environmental and social impact assessment/environmental audit training course to officers of Turkana County from 11th -22nd March 2019. The training was opened by the Vice-Chancellor Prof. Teresa Akenga who was instrumental in highlighting the importance of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment in providing innovative solutions to environmental problems and called upon the participants who are undertaking environmental audit training to utilize the skills they will acquire from the training to impact positively to their immediate surroundings. She further reiterated that the country needs qualified EIA/EA experts who will be instrumental in solving key environmental challenges thus accelerating sustainable development within their immediate surroundings. She finalized by thanking the County government of Turkana for partnering with UoE in ensuring that their staffs are well trained on matters to do with Environmental and Social Impact Assessment.
The Ag. Dean, School of Environmental Studies Dr. Chris Saina on his part reiterated that the curriculum which will be used in the training is NEMA approved and participants will go through an intensive three weeks training that will entail lectures, field excursions, and practical hands-on report writing. Dr. Saina reiterated that at the end of the three weeks, the participants will have been well trained to enable them to earn certificates in environmental impact assessment, auditing, and monitoring that will enable them to register with NEMA as EIA/EA lead or associate experts. He further highlighted that the trainees will join the pool of expertise that have skills to evaluate impacts of proposed development projects on the environment and also review Environmental impact statements for purposes of decision making on whether projects can go on or not.
The Turkana County Chief Officer of Water Services, Environment and Mineral Resources Mr. Natome Napeyok Moses who represented the Governor Turkana County H.E Josphat Nanok was categorical in highlighting the importance of this training to their staff. Mr. Natome highlighted that Turkana County has a lot of natural resources, which needs lead experts to preserve its utilization. He thus called on his staff to utilize to the maximum this opportunity and also thanked the University of Eldoret for giving them this opportunity to train their staffs.
Also in attendance were Dr. Judith Khazenzi, Mr. Edward Juma (Regional Director of Environment Rep, North Rift Region), Dr. Jacob Lolelea (Chief Officer - Education, Sports & Social Protection, Turkana County), Mr. Moses Natome (Chief Officer - Water, Environment & Natural Resources, Turkana County), , Dr. Nicholas Rop (Director - UoE Town Campus), Dr. Job Ng'etich (EIA/EA Coordinator, UoE), Ms. Sally Kibos (Director, Environment Uasin Gishu County), Dr. Shem Mwasi, Dr. Eliud Yego and participants from Turkana County Government.
The training of Turkana County officers is one of the many series of EIA/EA training that the University of Eldoret has been having over time and the previous ones included training of officers from:
- Elgeyo-Marakwet County;
- Bomet County;
- Baringo County; and
- Trans Nzoia County
It is apparent that County Governments have appreciated the importance of having staff that have knowledge and skills in environmental impact assessment and environmental audit. Thus, for effective integration of environmental conservation and social safeguards in the development projects, implementation in line with the Kenya constitution 2010 article 42 and EMCA 1999 (Revised) and the international safeguard policies and standards needs to be adhered to.
The University of Eldoret is happy to partner with the various County Governments in enhancing sustainable development and environmental conservation through building capacity of human resources in environmental issues. The next EIA/EA training sessions are scheduled to take place in July and August 2019. However, with a special request the training may be scheduled outside the regular stated sessions.
‘We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it for our children.'- Native American Proverb
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