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Climate Change Knowledge Gap in Education System in Kenya

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  • Garissa University, Kenya

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Kenya, like other countries in the Horn of Africa, is severely affected by climate change. Droughts interposed with floods are recurrent climatic features particularly in the dry lands of the country. Climate extremes have not only led to low agricultural production but have also destroyed all other sectors of the economy such as tourism and industrialization rate. Droughts are the main contributing factor to high poverty levels having over 70% of the Kenya populace directly or indirectly depending on rain-fed agriculture. Understanding of the climate issues is therefore crucial in averting any climate related risks. To realize economic development the government of Kenya has invested heavily on education, which is viewed as a central input in the development process. In Kenya's Vision 2030, quality education as one of the priority sectors under the social pillar. Literacy level in Kenya stands to 87.5%. Unfortunately, the high literacy level has not translated to economic development as poverty levels stands at 47%. This study therefore sought to examine the climate change knowledge gap in the Kenya's education system. Specifically, the study sought to establish the place of climate studies in the Kenya's education system and also to establish the level of knowledge of climate change related issues among the Kenyan university students. The sample population included students from all university faculties in two public universities. A total of 108 students were sampled, 54 from each university. Almost all students (96.3%) were aware of changes in climatic patterns. In regard to the long rains (primary growing season in Kenya), 51.9% of the students observed reduction in rainfall events while 40.7 observed an increase. Rainfall amount was observed to be decreasing by 55.6% of the students. Increase in temperatures was observed by 70.4% and was attributed to increasing number of hot days. Despite the importance of climate change knowledge to the courses undertaken at the universities only 7.4% of the students wanted the climate change studies to be taught in universities. Majority (33.3%) of the students wanted the course to be taught at primary level only. The common mitigation strategy known by majority of the students was afforestation and reafforestation. The study identified two main factors that led to scanty knowledge of climate change: (i) negative attitude towards agriculture which was seen as the main sector affected by climate change and (ii) bias in the integration of climate science content in Kenya's education system. To achieve the vision 2030 where education is aimed at enhancing both agricultural and industrial productivity, the study recommended an integration of climate science course in all subjects taught in schools, colleges and universities or introduction of climate change as a standalone subject at all levels of learning.
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Copyright © 2015 IJIRES, All right reserved
227
International Journal of Innovation and Research in Educational Sciences
Volume 2, Issue 3, ISSN (Online): 23495219
Climate Change Knowledge Gap in Education System in
Kenya
Julius M. Huho
Karatina University, P.O. Box 1957, Karatina Kenya
Email: jmhuho@gmail.com/ jhuho2003@yahoo.com
Abstract Kenya, like other countries in the Horn of
Africa, is severely affected by climate change. Droughts
interposed with floods are recurrent climatic features
particularly in the dry lands of the country. Climate extremes
have not only led to low agricultural production but have
also destroyed all other sectors of the economy such as
tourism and industrialization rate. Droughts are the main
contributing factor to high poverty levels having over 70% of
the Kenya populace directly or indirectly depending on rain-
fed agriculture. Understanding of the climate issues is
therefore crucial in averting any climate related risks. To
realize economic development the government of Kenya has
invested heavily on education, which is viewed as a central
input in the development process. In Kenya’s Vision 2030,
quality education as one of the priority sectors under the
social pillar. Literacy level in Kenya stands to 87.5%.
Unfortunately, the high literacy level has not translated to
economic development as poverty levels stands at 47%. This
study therefore sought to examine the climate change
knowledge gap in the Kenya’s education system. Specifically,
the study sought to establish the place of climate studies in
the Kenya’s education system and also to establish the level
of knowledge of climate change related issues among the
Kenyan university students. The sample population included
students from all university faculties in two public
universities. A total of 108 students were sampled, 54 from
each university. Almost all students (96.3%) were aware of
changes in climatic patterns. In regard to the long rains
(primary growing season in Kenya), 51.9% of the students
observed reduction in rainfall events while 40.7 observed an
increase. Rainfall amount was observed to be decreasing by
55.6% of the students. Increase in temperatures was
observed by 70.4% and was attributed to increasing number
of hot days. Despite the importance of climate change
knowledge to the courses undertaken at the universities only
7.4% of the students wanted the climate change studies to be
taught in universities. Majority (33.3%) of the students
wanted the course to be taught at primary level only. The
common mitigation strategy known by majority of the
students was afforestation and reafforestation. The study
identified two main factors that led to scanty knowledge of
climate change: (i) negative attitude towards agriculture
which was seen as the main sector affected by climate change
and (ii) bias in the integration of climate science content in
Kenya’s education system. To achieve the vision 2030 where
education is aimed at enhancing both agricultural and
industrial productivity, the study recommended an
integration of climate science course in all subjects taught in
schools, colleges and universities or introduction of climate
change as a standalone subject at all levels of learning.
Keywords Climate Change, Kenya Education Systems,
Mitigation Measures.
I. INTRODUCTION
Africa, and particularly the Greater Horn of Africa
(GHA), is one of the areas in the world that experience the
severest impacts of climate change. The rate of warming is
higher than the global average and is likely to continue to
rise [1]. Episodes of severe droughts and floods that cause
devastating effects have made regular news in the recent
past. The effects are sometimes irreversible, at least in the
short-term, resulting in destitution among the natives. In
sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), for instance, approximately
96% of the cropland is under rain-fed agriculture [2]. The
low rainfall amounts in the 1970s and 1980s impacted
negatively on food production in the arid and semi-arid
lands [3]. The economy of most African countries, which
relies on primarily on agriculture, is in turn dependent on
rainfall performance. According to [4], agriculture
accounts for up to 40% of the Africa’s total Gross
Domestic Product (GDP), about 60% of total export
earnings and absorbs about 65% of the labour force.
In Kenya, droughts which are usually interposed with
floods, particularly in the arid and semi-arid lands
(ASALs) are the main environmental threats to rural
livelihoods. Over 70% of the Kenya populace live in rural
areas having rain-fed agriculture as their main source of
livelihood. Unfortunately, droughts are now a perennial
problem with chronic vulnerability being concentrated in
the ASALs. Droughts have not only affected agriculture
but also have destroyed all other sectors of the economy
such as tourism and industrialization growth rate. Famine
cycles have reduced from 20 years (1964-1984) to 12
years (1984-1996), then to two years (2004-2006) and now
yearly i.e. 2007/2008/2009/2010/2011 [5]. In a continent
where agriculture is the engine of economic growth for
many countries, dynamics in climate patterns cannot be
underestimated and therefore need to be understood by all
the stake holders in order to avert or mitigate climate-
related risks.
1.1 Education System in Kenya
Education plays a central role in the development
process. In cognizant to the important role of education in
enhancing socioeconomic development, the government of
Kenya has been provided free primary education and
subsidized secondary education. In addition, the number of
universities has grown from 4 in 1990 to 67 universities in
2013 [6]. As a result, the estimated literacy level in 2010,
defined as percentage number of citizens above the age 15
years who can read and write, stood at 87.4% [7]. As
envisaged in the Kenya’s Vision 2030, quality education is
one of the priority sectors under the social pillar aimed at
transforming Kenya into middle income country and
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International Journal of Innovation and Research in Educational Sciences
Volume 2, Issue 3, ISSN (Online): 23495219
providing a high quality of life to all its citizens by 2030 in
a clean and secure environment.
The current Kenya’s education system, dubbed as the 8-
4-4 system, was introduced in 1986 to replace the 7-4-2-3
system. Under the 8-4-4 system, students undergo eight
years of primary, four years of secondary and four years of
university education. The objective of the system was to
produce self-reliant individuals who are well equipped
with life skills. To meet the ever changing demands, the
government has reviewed the curriculum from time to
time. In secondary section for instance, the curriculum has
been revised twice reducing the minimum number of
examinable subject from the initial ten at the beginning of
the 8-4-4 system to the current seven while in primary
schools the examinable subjects have been reduced from
nine to five. Universities in Kenya offer varied courses
ranging from Arts to Science-based. Students are admitted
to undertake degree courses of their choice after
completion of secondary school education.
Unfortunately, the high literacy levels 87.4% in Kenya
have not translated to economic development since
poverty level stands at 47%. Citing Africa, [8] attributes
this to limited studies to measure importance and
relevance of education in economic development process.
In Kenya, [9]attributes the mismatch between literacy
levels and economic development to the very little
empirical research on the effectiveness of educational
initiatives. It is against this background that this study
sought to examine the role played by the education system
in enhancing the understanding of climate change among
the students since environmental challenges, particularly
droughts, pose the greatest threat to the Kenya’s economy.
II. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of the study was to examine the
climate change knowledge gap in the Kenya’s education
system. Specifically, the study sought (i) to establish the
place of climate change studies in the Kenya’s education
system, and (ii) to establish the level of knowledge of the
climate change related issues among the university
students in Kenya.
III. METHODOLOGY
Data for this study was obtained between January and
February 2013 from undergraduate students who were in
their final year of study from two universities in Kenya.
Stratified random sampling methods were used in
selecting the sample population. Schools and faculties
formed the strata. In selecting the students, the study used
multi stage sampling. Whereas all the schools and faculties
were used, departments in the schools and faculties were
sampled. From the departments, students in their fourth of
study were randomly selected. A total of 108 students, 54
from each university were administered with
questionnaires. Data for Kenya education system and
curricula was largely from secondary sources.
IV. RESULTS
The economy of Kenya is driven by agriculture. Over
70% of the population depends directly or indirectly on
agriculture with the dependency increasing in the ASALs
where approximately 95% of the household income is
from agricultural activities. Unfortunately, changes in
climatic patterns have greatly affected agricultural
practices (planting, sowing, harvesting and even yields) in
most part of the country. In the ASALs, for instance,
frequent droughts and floods have led to not only chronic
famines and hunger but also dwindling of the pastoral
economy [10] posing the greatest threat to rural
livelihoods. The importance of climate change knowledge
is therefore vital for sustained agricultural development
and economic growth in Kenya.
4.1 The place of climate change education curricula
in Kenya
In primary school curriculum, climate content was
taught under Science and Social Studies subjects only. At
this elementary level, aspects of weather and climate were
taught at all levels starting from standard 1 (or level 1) to
standard 8 (or Level 8). The content related to climate
included: elements of weather and instruments, regional
climates and vegetation types, and the solar system. The
science of climate change, which is taught in standard
eight, only highlights the basic causes of climate change
and their effects on human activities. At secondary school
level, climate studies were taught under the Geography,
Biology and Agriculture. Much of the climate studies are
taught under Geography. Climate-related were covered in
Form 1 (or Level 9) under the subtopic weather and in
Form 2 (or Level 10) under the subtopic Climate. In Form
1, the subtopic, Weather, largely covered weather
elements and instrumentation while in Form 2, aspects of
climate change such as global warming, causes of climate
change and regional climates were taught. Whereas the
primary goal in Biology was to explain how greenhouse
gases (which causes climate change) act as pollutants,
under Agriculture, the main focus was how various
elements of weather affect agricultural production. In both
Biology and Agriculture, these aspects of weather and
climate were covered in Form 1.
At the university, very few syllabi, if any, had
incorporated the aspects of climate or climate change. In
most universities, climate content was largely taught under
Geography, Agriculture and Environment related subjects.
Fortunately, few universities in Kenya had started courses
focusing mainly on climate change. This included:
Maseno University which has a department of Climate
Change and Development, University of Nairobi which
has the Institute for Climate Change and Adaptation,
Kenyatta University under the School of Environment
Science and a few other universities. The emphasis on the
climate and climate change content reduced with
progression on the level of education in education system
in Kenya.
4.2 Students perspective on changes in climate in
their home counties
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International Journal of Innovation and Research in Educational Sciences
Volume 2, Issue 3, ISSN (Online): 23495219
All students were aware of changes in climatic patterns
particularly with regard to rainfall and temperature. While
all (100%) of the students acknowledged having changes
in rainfall patterns in their home counties, 88.9% said the
same for temperature with 11.1% indicating no changes in
temperatures. The most common change in temperature
(observed by 70.4% of the students who indicated changes
in temperatures) was increase in temperatures. This was
associated with increase in the number of hot days. About
18.5% and 11.1% who stated that temperature had
decreased or had no change respectively. Table 1 shows
observed changes in rainfall occurrence during the long
rains which is the primary planting season in most parts of
the Kenya.
Table 1: Observed changes in rainfall and temperature by students
Rainfall status
Long rainfall (MAM) season
(Indicators)
Amount (%)
Events (%)
Intensity (%)
Cessation (%)
Increased
37.0
40.7
59.3
Early: 55.6
Decreased
55.6
51.9
33.3
Late: 25.8
No change
7.4
7.4
7.4
No change 18.6
With regard to the long rains, the primary growing
season in Kenya, which fall in March, April and May
(MAM), 59.3% observed late onsets, 33.3% observed
early onsets while 7.4% observed no changes in the onsets
in their respective counties. Delays in cessation of the
MAM rains were observed by 25.8% of the students.
About 55.6% stated that the MAM rains ended earlier than
usual while 18.6% observed no changes in cessation of the
long rains. MAM rainfall events were observed to be
decreasing by 51.9% of the students while 40.7% and
7.4% observed increase and no change in rainfall events
respectively. About 59.3% observed increase in the
number of high intensity rainfall events, 33.3% observed
reduction while 7.4% observed no changes. With regard to
MAM rainfall amounts 37% of the students observed an
increase, 55.6% observed reduction while 7.4% noted no
changes.
4.3 Climate knowledge gaps among the university
students
The challenges of climate change cannot be
underestimated due to its role as a major threat to
economic development as it affects all sectors of the
economy. To realize economic growth and development,
understanding of climate change related issues is
important to all stakeholders and particularly to the main
actors. Among these actors are the university graduates
who are trained in order to transform the economy of the
country both at local and national levels. The Kenya’s
Vision 2030 places education as one of the key pillars for
industrialization by 2013 and thus all university academic
programmes are designed in a manner geared towards
achieving Vision 2030 goals. To underscore the
importance of climate change knowledge for economic
development, 81.5% of the students acknowledged the
relevance of the knowledge to the diverse courses offered
at the universities for sustained economic development.
However, the study established a gap with regard to
climate change knowledge amongst the university students
as explained in the following sections.
4.3.1 Access to climate information
The most common form of climate information that
students had access to was weather forecast. Over half of
the students received weather forecasts every day, 22.2%
weekly, 3.7% fortnightly, 18.5% monthly and 3.7%
received no information at all. Weather information was
obtained through various mediums which largely included
television, internet and newspaper. Each of these mediums
was accessed by at 14.8% of the students. This was
attributed to the fact that students watched television,
accessed internet and read newspapers regularly. Radio as
a medium disseminating climate information was not
common providing information to only 3.7% of the
students. Students listened to entrainment radio stations,
which rarely broadcasted climate related information.
Other than weather forecast, about 55.5% of the students
had knowledge about existence of historical
meteorological data. Historical rainfall data only was
known to 18.5% of the student, 14.8% knew about the
existence of both rainfall and temperature historical data,
11.1% knew about temperature data only, 7.4% knew
about temperature, clouds and rain while 3.7% knew the
existence of temperature and cloud data only. However,
over 90% of the students had no interest on climate
information. This was attributed to the fact that about
44.4% of the students were not conversant with the
terminologies used in weather forecasting such as "below
normal" or "near normal" rainfall and also climate
information was viewed as only relevant to farmers.
4.3.2 Knowledge of global and national responses to
climate change
There are a number of responses focusing on mitigation
of climate change at global, regional and national levels.
Despite having much publicized climate change meetings
such Conference of Parties (COPs) in both electronic and
print media in Kenya and the frequent updates of such
meeting, the knowledge of various climate change
responses was limited to students. Over 60% of the
students didn’t know any of global, regional and national
responses to climate change. On average, only 25.2%
knew about the global responses (Table 2).
The knowledge of the responses towards different global
responses varied as follows: Kyoto protocol 40.7%; COPs
25.9% and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) 25.9%, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
22.2%, Montreal Protocol 14.8%, Reducing Emissions
from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) 29.6%,
National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA)
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International Journal of Innovation and Research in Educational Sciences
Volume 2, Issue 3, ISSN (Online): 23495219
33.3%, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC) 44.4%, Joint Implementation 3.7% and
Carbon trading 11.1%. At national level, an average of
39.5% of the students knew about efforts and responses to
climate change in Kenya (Table 3). The IGAD Centre for
Prediction and Application (ICPAC) was known to 44.4%,
while Drought Monitoring Centre, Nairobi (DMCN) and
National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS)
were known to 40.7% and 33.3% respectively.
4.3.3 Knowledge on climate change mitigation
strategies
The most common climate change mitigation strategy
known by all students was afforestation and
reafforestation. About 73.2% of the students argued that
trees "attract rainfall" thus mitigating climate change. The
knowledge about the role of trees in carbon sequestration
was very scanty amongst students. Similarly, the link
between greenhouse gases and global warming was not
clear to about 64.5% of the students. Terms like carbon
sequestration, carbon footprints and carbon trading were
unknown to 89.3% of the students. Other mitigation
measures mentioned by less than 5% of the students were:
control of greenhouse gas emission, use of energy efficient
appliances and agro-forestry. The distinction between
climate change adaptation and mitigation measures was
not clear amongst students. As such, when asked to
identify the mitigation measures against climate change,
students stated irrigation, early planting and planting of
drought resistant crops.
Despite the gap in climate change knowledge
particularly on mitigation aspects and the strong
recommendation by all students that the climate change
content should be a compulsory subject in Kenya, only
7.4% of the students wanted the course to be taught only at
university level. Majority of the students (37%)
recommended for the subject to be incorporated in the
curriculum at primary school level, 25.9% at secondary
schools, 7.4% in intermediate colleges and 7.4% in all
other levels expect in the universities. Only 14.9% of the
students recommended for inclusion of the subject in the
curricula of all levels of education in Kenya (Table 4).
Table 2: Knowledge of various global responses to climate change
Kyoto
Protocol
(%)
COPs
(%)
IPCC
(%)
REDD
(%)
UNFCCC
(%)
Carbon
Trading
(%)
CDM
(%)
Montreal
Protocol
(%)
JI
(%)
NAPA
(%)
AVG
(%)
Yes
40.7
25.9
25.9
29.6
44.4
11.1
22.2
14.8
3.7
33.3
25.2
No
59.3
74.1
74.1
70.4
55.6
88.9
77.8
85.2
96.3
66.7
74.8
Table 3: Knowledge of national responses to climate change among students
Responses
ICPAC (%)
NCCRS (%)
DMCN (%)
Average (%)
Yes
44.4
33.3
40.7
39.5
No
55.6
59.3
66.5
60.5
Table 4: Level at which climate change studies should be included in the curricula in Kenya’s education system
Introduction of
climate change
studies in the
curricula (%)
Academic levels
Primary
(%)
Secondary
(%)
College
(%)
University
(%)
Other levels except
universities (%)
All levels
(%)
Yes
100
37.0
25.9
7.4
7.4
7.4
14.9
No
0
63.0
74.1
92.6
92.6
92.6
85.1
V. DISCUSSION
Changes in climatic patterns and the subsequent effects
on livelihoods were evident among the university students.
The observation on increasing rainfall intensity, decreased
number rainfall events and shifts in rainfall seasons, to a
large extent, agreed with the findings of the IPCC. The
study established that the timing of planting season had
changed with rainfall onset coming late in most of the
most of the areas. In addition, the length of growing
season had reduced due to late onset and early cessation of
the rains. Much of this knowledge was largely acquired
through personal experiences and interaction with their
immediate environments with little knowledge gained
from formal education. As a result the scientific
background on and responses to climate change remained
scanty amongst the students. The study attributed the gap
in the scientific knowledge of climate change in part to the
failure of the education system in Kenya and partly to the
negative attitude towards agricultural practices among the
students. The Kenya education curricula concentrate the
climate change content in the lower levels of education
system and in very few subject areas. In Kenya, like in
other parts of Africa, no clear guidelines or comprehensive
research have been done on the most appropriate level(s)
when the climate change content should be introduced into
the curricula. Similarly, no studies have been carried out to
ascertain the relevance of the climate change knowledge in
day to day activities of a population. Reference [8]
observes that in as much as the debate on the best level is
still on in the world, such debates have not yet begun in
Africa. Whereas the World Bank and other international
development organizations observe that the most
appropriate is the elementary level, some researchers view
higher levels as the most relevant.
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International Journal of Innovation and Research in Educational Sciences
Volume 2, Issue 3, ISSN (Online): 23495219
At secondary school level in Kenya, the subjects where
climate change was taught were optional. This included
Geography (weather and climate), Biology (ecology), and
Agriculture (crop production). Unfortunately, the all these
subjects were elective and not compulsory at this level.
This implied that a student could undergo through
secondary education without taking any of these subjects
hence missing out on climate related knowledge.
Unfortunately, the number of students taking Geography,
where climate content was largely taught, had declined
steadily over the years (Figure 1). A similar declining
trend was observed for Agriculture (Figure 2).
Agriculture which employs over 70% of the population
in Kenya and contributes to about 30% of the GDP is one
of the economic sector that is worst affected by climate
change in Kenya. Unfortunately, the attitude towards
agriculture remained negative particularly among the
students and therefore to many of the students, the
knowledge of climate change was perceived to be
important mainly to farmers. The main reason cited by the
students as to why climate change courses needed not to
be introduced in the curricula of intermediate colleges and
universities was that the form of farming rain fed -
mostly affected by climate vagaries was for the
uneducated poor. Students felt that farming was for people
with low levels of education and therefore the climate
change content should be taught at primary and secondary
schools. Amongst the graduates, farming was not given
much priority and therefore teaching aspects of climate
change added no or very little value at university level. To
underscore this, students argued that scrapping off
Agriculture subject, as a distinct subject, in primary school
was an indication of low priority accorded to agriculture
by the government.
Fig.1. Percentage number of student who sat for KCSE Geography examination (2002-2011) [11]
Fig.2. Percentage number of student who sat for KCSE Agriculture examination (2002-2011) [11]
VI. CONCLUSION
The effect of climate change on economic development
is not a new phenomenon. However, the effects have been
increasing with increasing frequency and severity of the
climate extremes. Agricultural sector which accounts for
30% of the country’s GDP, is the worst affected and
therefore the knowledge of the effect of climate change is
common amongst the Kenyan populace. Despite the fact
that Kenya economy is largely agri-based and climate
extremes pose the major challenges to its development,
little of the climate content was incorporated in the
Kenya’s education system. Much of the content was
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
% of the total number of
KCSE candidates
Year
34
36
38
40
42
44
46
48
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
%of the total number of KCSE
candidates
Year
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International Journal of Innovation and Research in Educational Sciences
Volume 2, Issue 3, ISSN (Online): 23495219
concentrated at elementary levels of education and
diminished as the level increased. Less emphasis of the
content was put at secondary, colleges and universities
levels.A huge gap therefore exists in the education sector
with regard to climate change content and there is need for
it to be addressed in order to realize the objective of the
Vision 2030.
RECOMMENDATIONS
To enhance the understanding of climate change and its
impact on the economy, the gap in the education system
need to be closed. This will ensure that all citizens,
whether learned or not, fully understand climate change
issues and its direct or indirect effects on their day to day
activities. To achieve this, the study recommended the
following:
1. With regard to school curricula, climate change content
should be integrated at all levels. At secondary,
intermediate and tertiary institutions, climate related
course should be made compulsory, either as common
course or as a topic that runs throughout the levels within
the compulsory subjects in the curricula. This calls for
review of the curricula in Kenya’s education systems. As
such
2. There should be regular updates on climate information
particularly during the main programmes on television and
radios. Currently, weather forecast is aired on the
television at the end of prime news. Unfortunately, very
few people watch the prime news to the very end and
therefore miss out on these updates. A revised timing of
the weather forecast from the very end of the prime news
to in between or at the beginning would be more
appropriate.
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Assessment Report (AR4). IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland,2007.
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management/rainfed-agriculture, 2013.
[3] R. Gommes and F. Petrassi, Rainfall Variability and Drought in
Sub-Saharan Africa. SD dimensions, FAO, 1996.
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[7] CIA Factbook Kenya. Available online at:
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[9] C. Buchmann, Family structure, parental perceptions, and child
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[10] Huho J. M, Ngaira, J. K. W. and Ogindo, H. O. Climate change
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[11] Kenya National Examination Council,KCSE result analysis for
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AUTHORS PROFILE
Dr. Huho, J. M.
was born in Kitale, Transnzioa County in Kenya where he undertook part
of his primary school education before moving to Naivasha in Nakuru
County. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and
Kiswahili in 2002, Master of Arts in Geography and PhD in Geography
(with a bias towards climatology) from Maseno University, Kenya in
2005 and 2011 respectively.
Dr. Huho started teaching at the university as a Graduate Assistant in
2003, became an Assistant Lecturer in 2005 and a Lecturer in 2009.
Currently he is a Senior Lecturer in the department of Geography in
Karatina University, Kenya. He has expertise in Geographic Information
System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS). His area of research is impacts
of climate change in rural livelihoods and the adaptation strategies.
... The literature indicates that nations in East Africa are increasingly integrating climate change in their education curriculum due to the global crisis's mounting awareness [48,49], and with such integrations come many challenges to teach the topic. These include the need to ascertain the role of the educator, grappling with misconceptions, complexities of interdisciplinarity and understanding the content of climate change education. ...
... For this reason, the farmers believed they had no capabilities to adapt to the climate phenomena. Similarly, Huho [49] asserted that many young people in Kenya believe that climate change is a problem that only affects farmers; thus, they find no value in learning about it. Despite the few studies, there is still inadequate research on climate knowledge and awareness among vulnerable populations, narrowing the appropriate educational strategies to tackle the existing gaps [47]. ...
... Further, the very design of climate education within the school curriculum and the compartmentalization of knowledge also poses a significant challenge for practical learning and climate change adaptation. Huho [49] reports that teaching climate change is commonly left to science teachers within the school setup; so is the replication of the syllabus in many schools in East Africa, limiting collective actions within school programs and the general population. ...
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It is undoubtedly clear that climate change is happening, and its adverse impacts could reverse the progress made toward meeting sustainable development goals. The global crisis poses one of the most severe challenges to reducing poverty and existing inequalities, especially in developing countries that are projected to be highly vulnerable to climate variability. However, the education sector provides an untapped opportunity for successful climate change adaptation and mitigation through knowledge and skill acquisitions, and consequently, positive behavioral change. Specifically, education can capacitate individuals and communities to make informed decisions and take practical actions for climate-resilient sustainable development. This study is focused on East Africa, a region whose economy heavily relies on climate-dependent activities. At present, East African governments are already embedding climate change in their school curriculum. However, they lack coherent approaches to leverage climate change education as a tool in their adaptation and mitigation strategies. Therefore, this review explores some of the critical barriers to climate change education and possible opportunities for leveraging learning to promote sustainable development in East Africa.
... It continues to affect natural habitats and biodiversity with disruption on growing season, phenology, primary production, and species distributions and diversity (Bellard et al., 2012). The proposed ML applications will be pivotal to the communities in Northern Kenya that continue to be affected by Climate change Huho (2015) through prolonged droughts that have threatened their livelihoods and as result caused conflict van Baalen & Mobjörk (2017) Schilling et al. (2012) since these communities scramble for the increasingly less available natural resources like water and pasture for their animals, by availing climate information in a language locally understood and techniques to adapt to the effects of the phenomenon. The effect is well pronounced by the fact that about a third of the Kenyan population depends on pastoralism for food and income security, KNBS (2010). ...
... Further studies by otieno & Pauke (2010) have shown that African citizens' response to climate change is hampered by a fundamental shortage of relevant, useful information for African audiences. Additionally, due to low literacy levels as in Duba et al. (2001) and high levels of poverty in these communities, climate information is largely not easily accessible even in its simplest form through TV (Huho, 2015). Most analysis and findings published and accessible through the internet are in English and a few major western and Asian languages according to the Bank (2014) and that makes the information not easily understood by these communities even if there was wide coverage of the internet. ...
... Access to adaptation techniques and climate information in local languages would inspire action within these communities and empower them to plant plants and food types that can survive in prolonged dry conditions. This would lead to food security in Northern Kenya where approximately 95% of the household income is from agricultural activities (Huho, 2015). Further findings Heath (2019) have demonstrated that communities adapt and use techniques to help them through extended dry seasons and during heavy rain too when they have knowledge and awareness of climate change. ...
... A climate change knowledge gap in Kenyan education system survey carried out in two public universities established that the majority of the students who participated in the survey, 96.3%, were aware of the climatic change patterns (Huho, 2015). Their knowledge, though, was limited to afforestation and reforestation as the mitigation strategies to climate change. ...
... The study revealed that despite the student knowledge of the climatic change and its implications, only 7.4% of the students were in agreement that climate change education should be integrated into the university curricula. Curiously, 33.3% of the students thought that the course should be taught at the primary level only (Huho, 2015). At primary levels, Wildlife Clubs of Kenya (WCK), are deemed the largest environmental education organisations for youth in Africa (McDuff, 2000). ...
... IPCC (2014) gives indicators of climate variability as extended droughts, floods and conditions that result from periodic El Niño and La Niña events. Huho (2016) indicates that Africa, and in particular the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA), is one of the areas in the world that experience the severest impacts of climate change. According to Connolly-Boutin and Smit (2016) on sub-Saharan Africa, climate change has caused increased droughts and floods which impede people's ability to grow food and rear livestock. ...
... Kenya (Kanywithia 2010). In the ASALs, for instance, frequent droughts and floods have led to not only chronic famines and hunger but also dwindling of the pastoral economy, posing the greatest threat to rural livelihoods (Huho 2016). Studies show that drought poses serious challenges for populations whose livelihoods depend principally on natural resources (Below et al. 2010;Nicholson 2014). ...
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Climate variability is a natural phenomenon, and of late, it is becoming more frequent and more intensive especially in the arid and semi-arid lands (ASALs). This has affected the livelihoods and the coping strategies of the pastoral communities of the ASALs of Kenya. As a result, there was need to conduct a study and assess the type of development agents existing in the region and the type of assistance they provided. This study applied household interviews, focus group discussions and key informant interviews to collect data. Quantitative data was analysed using SPSS software and descriptive statistics were run. The study revealed that there are various development agents who assist the pastoralists of Isiolo, namely government departments, NGOs and faith-based organizations. The type of assistance given included resettlements, human and livestock medicine, restocking, destocking, subsistence funds for the old people, relief foods and livestock feeds. The study findings also indicate that the assistance given was inadequate and this was attributed to poor leadership, selfishness and marginalization. In most cases inappropriate interventions were put in place such as providing maize to the community when what they really needed was livestock for restocking. For the pastoralists of Isiolo County to benefit from development agents there is need for proper coordination of development agents assisting livestock communities in Isiolo County. There is also need for government departments, NGOs and faith-based organizations to ensure full engagement and effective participation of the local communities in the conception, design and implementation of sustainable solutions to reverse the effects of climate variability.
... The impact of climate change on animals' productive function depends on the animal's adaptive potential, which is a relative function of its species and breeds (Sejian et al. 2018). Africa and particularly the greater horn of Africa will be where the severe impact of climate change will be felt (Huho 2016). Reduction in pasture or forage productivity and quality, increased lignification in plant tissues and decreased digestibility, altered disease distribution patterns, and increased resilience of disease-causing organism and parasites have been attributed to climate change. ...
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Smallholder farmers are the worst hit by the impact of the changing climate, especially those in developing countries. Climate change shows direct impact on the significant contribution of the production systems and related practices of smallholder farmers. Ruminant production systems emit various proportions of the primary greenhouse gases of carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane associated with global warming and the resultant climate change. Higher concentration of these emitted gases indicates inefficiency in production through energy, nutrient, and organic matter loss, which will negatively affect productivity of ruminants. Climate change has come to stay, and it will have some effects on agriculture through high temperature, low relative humidity, drought, erratic rainfall, and emerging pests and diseases. These will have a negative impact on feed crop and forage, water availability, animal and milk production, livestock diseases, animal reproduction, and biodiversity, thus constituting a threat to ruminant production. Livestock farmers will be most affected by the direct and indirect impact of climate change of the much more affected agriculturists. However, livestock farmers must learn how to maintain profitable production in the face of climate change. Therefore, in the face of changing climate, the purpose of this chapter is to provide insight into how smallholder farmers in developing countries can continue (adaptation) with their ruminant farming in a sustainable way.
... The impact of climate change on the economy is not a recently developed phenomenon; nonetheless its effects are turning into more noticeable. Climate change has added its toll on low agricultural production, and has also affected tourism and the pace of industrialization (Huho 2015). A simple example of this fact is the droughts, which apart from agricultural devastation have also affected drastically tourism and industry. ...
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Nowadays, a great challenge, that most countries are struggling with, is the rapid change of Earth’s climate. Meanwhile, the sea level is constantly rising, floods and droughts are increasing and global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. Climate change (CC) is a wide world worriment, which requires international confederates, such as industries, educational institutions, individual civilians to come in agreement, in order an environmental and energy revolution process to be somehow initiated. Universities, as having the important mission of educating the future decision makers, indisputably can contribute to mitigating and adapting CC. The scope of this survey is to assess whether or not Greek universities have incorporated into their curricula and research a significant CC content. Additionally, it is aimed to identify the outreach of the Universities to the Greek society, through civic ecology procedures. Greece is a country that generates electricity by burning coal, in a high quota, to cover inhabitants’ diurnal energy needs. The findings of this research would enlighten on whether the higher educational institutions in Greece have given the pertinent significance to the issue of CC. Keywords Greek universities Greece Climate change Higher education
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The present paper examines the changing climatic scenarios and associated effects on livestock farming (pastoralism) in the arid and semi arid lands (ASAL) of Kenya, which cover over 80% of the country. The study was carried out in the semi arid Mukogodo Division of Laikipia District in Kenya. This division received a mean annual rainfall of approximately 507.8 mm and the main source of livelihood was pastoralism. Questionnaire, structured interview, observation and literature review were the main methods of data collection. Rainfall was used in delineating changes in climate. Standardized precipitation index (SPI) and Markov process were used in analyzing drought severity and persistence, respectively. Approximately 38% of all droughts between 1975 and 2005 were prolonged and extremely severe, with cumulative severity indices ranging between −2.54 and −6.49. The probability that normal climatic conditions persisted for two or more consecutive years in Mukogodo Division remained constant at approximately 52%. However, the probability of wet years persisting for two or more years showed a declining trend, while persistence of dry years increased with duration. A drying climatic trend was established. This drying trend in the area led to increased land degradation and encroachment of invasive nonpalatable bushes. The net effect on pastoralism was large-scale livestock loss through starvation, disease and cattle rustling. Proper drought monitoring and accurate forecasts, community participation in all government interventions, infrastructural development in the ASAL and allocation of adequate resources for livestock development are some of the measures necessary for mitigating the dwindling pastoral economy in Kenya and other parts of the world.
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  This paper uses panel data from two new data sets on educational attainment to investigate the effects of education on several development outcomes in African countries. I find that education has a positive and significant impact on these development outcomes. I also find that different levels of education affect development outcomes differently; for some development outcomes, primary and secondary education may be more important than tertiary education, while for some development outcomes, such as income growth rate, tertiary education may be more important. The results of this paper have implications for development policy in African countries.
Article
This article combines status attainment research with research on values and beliefs to understand educational stratification in Kenya. With household survey data, I examine the impact of family background and structure, division of household labor, and parental perceptions on children's educational participation. Parents' expectations for future financial help from children and perceptions of labor-market discrimination against women are significant determinants of children's enrollment. Patriarchal norms and child labor have no effect. Educational inequalities are better understood as due to the evaluation of returns to education and household resource constraints than as due to gender stereotypes or reliance on child labor. The results challenge traditional explanations of educational inequality in less industrialized societies and suggest that policies to spark school demand in developing countries may be misguided.
Currently he is a Senior Lecturer in the department of Geography in Karatina University, Kenya. He has expertise in Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS). His area of research is impacts of climate change
  • Dr
Dr. Huho started teaching at the university as a Graduate Assistant in 2003, became an Assistant Lecturer in 2005 and a Lecturer in 2009. Currently he is a Senior Lecturer in the department of Geography in Karatina University, Kenya. He has expertise in Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS). His area of research is impacts of climate change in rural livelihoods and the adaptation strategies.
Transnzioa County in Kenya where he undertook part of his primary school education before moving to Naivasha in Nakuru County. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and Kiswahili in 2002, Master of Arts in Geography and PhD in Geography (with a bias towards climatology)
  • Dr
  • J M Huho
  • Was Born In Kitale
Dr. Huho, J. M. was born in Kitale, Transnzioa County in Kenya where he undertook part of his primary school education before moving to Naivasha in Nakuru County. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and Kiswahili in 2002, Master of Arts in Geography and PhD in Geography (with a bias towards climatology) from Maseno University, Kenya in 2005 and 2011 respectively.
Climate change and pastoral economy in Kenya: A blinking future Kenya National Examination Council,KCSE result analysis for
  • J M Huho
  • J K W Ngaira
  • H Ogindo
Huho J. M, Ngaira, J. K. W. and Ogindo, H. O. Climate change and pastoral economy in Kenya: A blinking future. ActaGeologicaSinica, English edition, Vol 83 issue 5, 2009. [11] Kenya National Examination Council,KCSE result analysis for 2002-2012 KNEC: Nairobi, 2012.
Agriculture's Critical Role in Africa's Development
IFPRI, Agriculture's Critical Role in Africa's Development. Available online at: http://www.ifpri.org/publication/agricultures-critical-role-africa-s-development, 2009,
Climate change vulnerability and adaptation preparedness in Kenya
  • S Mutimba
  • S Mayieko
  • P Olum
  • K Wanyama
S.Mutimba, S.Mayieko, P. Olum, and K. Wanyama, Climate change vulnerability and adaptation preparedness in Kenya. Nairobi: Heinrich BöllStiftung, East and Horn of Africa, 2010.
  • Actageologicasinica
ActaGeologicaSinica, English edition, Vol 83 issue 5, 2009.