In a first of its kind in Africa, 22 Kenyans have been awarded post graduate scholarships for Masters and PhD Programmes worth Sh 917.45 million to strengthen the System for Land-Based Emission Estimation in Kenya (SLEEK).
In a speech read on his behalf by Conservation Secretary Mr. Gideon Gathaara, the Principal Secretary Environment, Natural Resources and Regional Development Authorities, Dr. Richard Lesiyampe said 40% of the successful scholars are women, which is a reflection of Governments commitment to supporting gender equality as enshrined in the Constitution.
“The implementation of SLEEK is through five Element Working Groups (EWGs) which are crop growth, Forest biomass, Climate parameters, Land Cover and Soil carbon measurements. These groups will contribute scientific expertise and data based on their respective mandates” he said.
The Australian High Commissioner to Kenya Mr. John Feakes congratulated the scholars saying, his Government through the Clinton Foundation have partnered with local universities to ensure the expertise gained at the end of the scholarship period benefits the country by building SLEEK System.
The launch was attended by Mr Jackson Kimani, Regional Director, Clinton Foundation, Director, Department of Resource Survey and Remote Sensing, Dr Patrick Wargute, Kenya Forest Service Director, Emilio Mugo and SLEEK Coordinator Dr. Winnie Musila.
SLEEK is a programme that will produce a variety of products that will support government’s functions and national development. Through its products such as climate data, agencies such as Kenya Meteorological Services are able to develop monthly grids of maximum and minimum temperatures. Such information is often quite handy in apprising farmers in agricultural production.