Message from the Chairman:
“Welcome and thank you for taking time to visit the webpage of the Department of Environmental Studies and Community Development”

The environment as a life support system is a key determinant of human well-being. For a long time, the study of environmental questions have often ignored the roles communities play in achieving environmental suitability. Participation of communities in developing plans and strategies for achieving environmental sustainability is very important. However the achievement of environmental sustainability also requires the synergies of various stakeholders including governments, development agencies, and educational institutions such as universities. When these stakeholders combine their efforts with those of local communities resident in or near various ecosystems, environmental conservation goals and sustainability can easily be achieved. Educational institution plays a critical role in this environmental conservation equation especially in regard to creating the required expertise through training and capacity building for various professionals. This is the reasoning behind the establishment of the Department of Environmental Studies and Community Development within the School of Environmental Studies at Kenyatta University. The department runs currently runs three programmes to achieve this goal. The programmes are
i) Bachelor of Environmental Studies and Community Development.
ii) Master of Environmental Studies and Community Development and
iii) PhD in Environmental Studies and Community Development.

The department was established to developed capacity in professionals who would be capable of synchronizing the problem challenges posed by environmental and development changes globally, nationally and at the community level. The department therefore meets a key training gap for professionals who can make decisions and come up with interventions that cuts across environmental and development challenges facing society.
To train professionals who are capable of looking for solution to the various environmental and development challenges facing society through imparting the necessary knowledge and skills necessary for creation of sustainable community development.
i). To equip students with the necessary tools and techniques of investigating and understanding the relationships between environment and development so as to contribute to informed decision-making towards sustainable community livelihoods.
ii). To generate the necessary knowledge on the impacts of development on the environment and vice versa so as to encourage harmonious interactions between humans and their environment.
ii). To produce professionals and technocrats capable of spearheading sustainable development by focusing on communities and the environment as critical national resources.


The UComNetSus project: Ecosystem Dynamics Emerging Coastal Towns


In January 2018, an MOU between the Department of Environmental Studies and Community (Kenyatta University) and the Department of Geography (Memorial University of Newfoundland St. John’s Canada was signed.

In December 2016, an MOU between the Department of Environmental Studies and Community Development and the School of Natural Resources and Environment of University of Michigan, USA was approved by the University management

Borderless for Higher Education (BHER) project in Dadaab Refugee Camp: The department is involved in the coordination of the proposed degree programme in Community Development and Extension with York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Kenyatta University – Cologne University Academic/Research Link

Since 2014 Kenyatta University’s School of Environmental Studies (SES) is collaborating with the University of Cologne, Germany (Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology and Master program ‘Culture and Environment in Africa’) in the following: joint research, staff career development (Doctoral and Post-doctoral fellowships), inter-university staff exchange, and students’ academic exchange, post-graduate scholarship and research.


Recent Conferences

  • Dr Joseph K Muriithi - On 8th-9th March 2018, Dr Joseph K Muriithi attended a workshop organized by the Kenya Biosafety Authority on “Socio-economic Considerations in Risk Assessment in GMOs” at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, Nairobi
    Between 3rd and 6th April Dr Joseph K Kurauka attended
  • 22nd –23rd February 2017: Regional Livestock Trade Stakeholders’ Workshop–Eastern Africa. Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya 2 nd -3 rd February 2017: DAFNE Zambezi River Basin Stakeholders’Workshop, Lusaka,. Hotel Cresta Golfview, Lusaka, Zambia.
  • Dr. Peter Wangai - Actors in Sustainable Development Goals (Bonn Germany, March 2017)
  • The International Society for Ecological Modelling Global Conference, Machakos 2016: Title of presentation, Effects of human settlement on land use and land cover in Machakos County, Kenya.
  • Dr. Peter Wangai - Terrorism and religious radicalization (Lingen Germany, June 2016).
  • Dr. Peter Wangai and others - Identity in the globalized world (Bonn Germany, April 2016)
  • 2 nd – 4 thAugust, 2016: Rapporteur for Africa LEAD-DAI for the USAID Partnership for Resilience and Economic Growth. Learning Event at Windsor Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • 9 th -11thNovember 2015: Keynote speaker on Day 1 and delivered a “biophysical scientific overview of East Africa’s Great Lakes” at a workshop on the food-energy-water (FEW) nexus workshop at Michigan State University. The workshop titled, “Food, Energy, Water and Abundance: Improving Cross-Border Governance and Protection of the Great Waters of the World,” and it will be held at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in East Lansing, Michigan.USA.
  • Dr. Peter Wangai - Ecosystem Services Partnership Conference (Stellenbosch South Africa, November 2015).
  • Dr Joseph K Muriithi - September 21-25th 2015: Participated and presented a paper entitled, “socio-economic Impacts and Monitoring in Kenya’s two models (National parks and Game Reserves) of Protected areas, at a conference at the University of Wuerzburg, Germany.
  • Dr. Peter Wangai - Summer School for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (Peyresq France, September 2015)
  • Dr. Peter Wangai - The role of professional in bringing change-“How can change be achieved?” (Tamale Ghana, August 2015)
  • Dr. Peter Wangai - KAAD Water Group workshop (Karlsruhe University Germany, May 2015)
  • Dr Joseph K Muriithi - October 26-30th 2015: Participated and presented a paper on “Capacity Building for Action Research in Kenya” at University of Michigan, African Studies Centers’ Partnership, Publication & Funding Workshop Agenda
  • Dr. Peter Wangai - International Workshop on coastal ecosystem service and Land-Sea interface (Kiel Germany, March 2015)
  • 27th -30th August 2015: Participated as an Expert at the Regional Consultative Workshop on Environmental Management for Aquaculture for Eastern Africa and the Great Lakes Region in Kampala. Uganda. Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) in collaboration with the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA). Title of presentation: Environmental impact assessment in aquaculture: components and process, (Strategic EIA) including Site Selection and Carrying Capacity Estimation.
  • 17th – 24th July 2015: Lead Consultant Facilitator by Century MFI, DFIDD/UKaid - Facilitate a community-based "Sensitization on Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) in Indigenous Chicken Systems and Needs Assessment“ workshop for partner indigenous chicken farmers and their value chain actors using materials developed-FICCF.
  • 25th -26th June/3rd July 2015: Workshop Trainer for smallholder dairy farmers at Ngorika Dairy Producers, Nyandarua County: ClimateSmart Agriculture for the Finance Innovation for Climate Change Fund (FICCF) Programme on Strengthening Adaptation & Resilience to Climate Change in Kenya (StARCK+) | DFID (UKaid) Kenya.







     (Dec) 1994 – (Feb) 2003



       (March) 2003 – 2007



       2008 – (Aug) 2011



     (Sept) 2011 – (Jan) 2016



     (Feb) 2016 – (Feb) 2020











Last year, three of our members of staff graduated with their PhDs. Dr. Eric Kioko earned his PhD from the university of Colgne while Dr Stephen Chege and Dr Simon Mburu graduated from Kenyatta University.

Dr Mary Baaru project in which she is the principal Investigator, titled “Integrated Programme to Build Resilience to Climate Change & Adaptive Capacity of Vulnerable Communities in Kenya”and funded by Adaptation Fund titled is starting this year, 2017. It runs until 2019.

Dr. Samuel Ochola attended the 16th Training Programme on water and sanitation at the Centre of Excellence for Water and Environment (CAS-TWAS CEWE) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, China (30th August – 25th Nov 2016). He presented a presented a paper on the “The Status of Water and Sanitation in Kenya” and was selected again by the organizers to present the same during a workshop on South to South Collaboration organized for the participants with Chinese companies looking for collaboration and investment in the water and sanitation sector particularly water purification, solid waste management, eco-toilets, membrane technology, heavy metal removal and pollution control.

Dr. Joseph K Kurauka has won a prestigious Post-Doctoral Visiting Fellowship from the Climate Impact Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement (CIRCLE) in Sub-Saharan Africa programme implemented by the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU). Since January 2017 he has been based at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He completes the fellowship in December 2017. His fellowship research focuses on Smart Agroforestry-Based Biofuel Systems: Creating Integrated Food-Energy Systems in East Africa.

Courses Offered

1. Bachelor of Environmental Studies (Community Development)
Admission Criteria

  1. Applicants must have a mean grade of (C+) in KSCE or its equivalent with at least C+ in any three of the following subjects: Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, History and Government, Home Science and Agriculture.
  2. Candidates with C Plain must have a Diploma of at least Credit Pass in a field of study related to the Environment and Community Development.
  3. A-level candidates must have at least 2 Principals in a relevant cluster subject above

2. Masters of Environmental Studies (Community Development) for both Regular and Institutional-Based Programmes.

Admission Criteria
Applicants must fulfil the following requirements:

  1. At least a Second Class Honours (Upper Second) Degree in Environmental Studies and related disciplines such as Geography, Natural Resources Management, Agricultural Sciences, Biological and Physical Sciences, Urban & Regional Planning, Development Studies from Kenyatta University or any other recognized university.
  2. A Lower Second Class (Lower Second) Degree in the above disciplines with at least two years of relevant experience after the first degree in areas related to Environment and Development.

3. PhD Studies
Applicants must have a master’s degree in Environmental Studies and related areas from recognised institutions of higher learning. Admission takes place annually in September.

Postgraduate Studies Committee
Dr. Felix Ming’ate - Chairman
Dr. Peter Wangai
Dr. Eric Kioko
Dr. Mary Baaru
Dr. Stephen Nyaga

Curriculum Review Committee
Dr. Samuel Ochola 
Dr. Joseph K. Kurauka
Dr. Stephen Nyaga – Chair/coordinator
Dr. Mary Baaru
Dr. Eric Kioko
Dr. Dorcas Otieno
Mr. Peter Abwao

Examinations Committee (including Thesis and Project Examination)
Dr. Joseph K Kurauka - Co-coordinator
Dr.. Stephen Chege
Dr. Felix Ming’ate
Dr. Mary Baaru
Dr. Stephen Nyaga

Teaching load committee
Dr. Dr Joseph K Muriithi (Chair)
Dr. Joseph K Kurauka
Dr. Felix Ming’ate

Dr. Peter Wangai- Chair and departmental representative
Mr. Peter Abwao
Dr. Joseph Kurauka
Ms. Dorcas Mukonyo Paul-Departmental Secretary

Field trips/Practicum coordination
Dr. Joseph K Kurauka (Coordinator practicum
Dr. Stephen Chege (Coordinator Field trips)
Mr. Peter Abwao
Dr. Eric Kioko
Dr Simon Mburu

Academic Advising/Mentorship
First Years—Dr. Dorcas Otieno and Dr. Peter Wangai
Second Year – Felix Ming’ate and Dr Jane Mutinda
Third year--Dr Joseph K Kurauka and Dr Mary Baaru
Four Year—Dr Stephen Nyaga and Dr. Stephen Chege

Students Registration
Dr. Simon Mburu
Dr. Peter Wangai

Welfare Committee
Dr. Mary Baaru - Chair
Dr. Joseph K Kurauka – Treasurer
Mr. Stephen Chege – Secretary
Dr. Jane Mutinda

Research, publications and Seminars Committee
Dr. Eric Kioko—Coordinator
Dr. Samuel Ochola
Dr. Peter Wangai
Dr. Simon Mburu
Dr. Dorcas Otieno
Dr. Stephen Chege

Intellectual Property Rights Representatives
Dr. Samuel Ochola and Dr. Peter Wangai

ICT/Website Representatives
Dr. Stephen Chege and Dr. Simon Mburu

Innovation Representatives at CBIIC
Dr. Eric Kioko and Dr. Pater Wangai

Research collaborations and Community Outreach

  • Dr. Peter Wangai (Chairman)
  • Dr. Felix Mingate
  • Dr. Stephen Nyaga
  • Dr. Stephen Chege

In Charge of Timetabling and Unit scheduling
Dr. Simon Mburu


Name and contacts





 Dr. Joseph K. Muriithi

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Senior  Lecturer

Sustainable development ( Inclusive Urban Development)
Environmental Ethics and Governance
Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Participatory Development Processes
Urban Risks and Resilience
Human Dimensions of Environmental Change


Dr. Dorcas Beryl Otieno

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

B Ed., M Ed., PhD

Senior Lecturer

Environmental education and ethics


Dr. Jane Wanza Mutinda

mThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

B Ed., M. Ed., PhD

Senior Lecturer

Gender; Environment and community development 


Mr. Peter Abwao

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

BSc, Msc


Watershed management; 


Dr. Stephen Njoka Nyaga

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Senior Lecturer

Environmental Ethics & Philosophy


Dr. Samuel Ochola

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

BSc., MSc., PhD


Climate change; GIS modelling; community livelihoods, disaster management


Dr Joseph K. Kurauka

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

B. Env S (CD), M. Env S (SC), PhD, Env Studies


Natural resource management;


Dr. Stephem. Chege

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

B. Env S (CD), M. Env S (SC), PhD, Env Studies


Environmental conflicts and peace building; Environmental Diplomacy; Environmental security


Dr. Felix Lamech Mogambi Ming’ate

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

BA., MSc (EPM), PhD

Lecturer and Chairman of department

 Environmental Planning and Management,Collaborative governance of Natural Resources and Community Livelihoods


Ms Jacqueline Kariithi

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

BSc., MSc.

Tutorial Fellow



: Dr. Simon Wainaina Mburu

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ba., MSc., PhD


Social Exclusion

Solid Waste Management


Dr. Baaru Mary Wamuyu

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Soil and Water Conservation; Sustainable Land Management in Dry Lands;


Dr. Peter Waweru Wangai

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

B. Env S (CD), MSC,PhD


Socio-ecological systems analysis; Ecosystem services; ecological resilience


Dr. Eric Mutisya Kioko

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Social anthropology; environment and culture; community development

Recent Publications

  • Wangai, P. W., Burkhard, B., Kruse, M., Müller, F. (submitted). Quantifying and Mapping Land Use Changes and regulating Ecosystem Services in a data-scarce area in Kenya. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services and Management x (xx), xx-xx. Journal Ref. TBSM-2017-0027.
  • Wangai, P. W., Burkhard, B., Kruse, M., Müller, F. (accepted) (2017). Contributing to the cultural ecosystem services and human wellbeing: a study application on indicators and linkages. Landscape Online xx, 1-25. DOI: 10.3097/ LO 2017xx.
  • Wangai, P. W., Burkhard, B., Mueller, F. (2016). A review of studies of ecosystem service assessments in Africa. International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment 5(2), 225-245.
  • Müller, F., B. Burkhard, Y. Hou, M. Kruse, L. Ma & P. Wangai (2016): Indicators of Ecosystem Services. In: Potschin, M, R. Haines-Young, R. Fish & R.K. Turner (Eds.): Routledge Handbook of Ecosystem Services. Routledge, London: 157-170.
  • Wangai, P., Muriithi, K. & Koenig, A. (2013). Drought related impacts on local people’s socioeconomic life and biodiversity conservation at Kuku Group Ranch, Southern Kenya. International Journal of Ecosystem 3(1): 1-6 DOI: 10.5923/j.ije.20130301.01.
  • Baaru M.W. and Gachene., C.K.K (2014). Development and promotion of sustainable soil and water conservation technologies in semi arid areas of Kenya: the case of vegetative macro contour line (CTA and FARA, 2014. Agricultural Innovations for Sustainable Development: Contributions fro the 3rd Africa-Wide Women and Young Professionals in Science Competitions. Volume 4 Issue 3)
  • Baaru M.W and Gachene C.K.K (2016). Community empowerment through participatory resource assessment at Kathekakai settlement scheme, Machakos County, Kenya. (International journal of Sociology and Anthropology (IJSA) Vol.8 (2) Pp. 15-22)
  • Charles K.K. Gachene, Anne N. Karuma, and Mary W. Baaru (2015): Climate Change and Crop Yield in Sub-Saharan Africa. In: Sustainable Intensification to Advance Food Security and Enhance Climate Resilience in Africa, ISBN 978-3-319-0935 8, ISBN 978-3-319-09360-4 (eBook)
  • Gachene CKK, Baaru MW, Gathaara V and Onwonga R (2015). Factors that Influence Adoption of Soil and Water Conservation Technologies at Kathekakai Location, Machakos County. In: Sustainable Land Management in Dry Lands of Kenya. ISBN 978 9966 1805 5 1
  • Kioko, Eric Mutisya (in print). Culture and conservation: environmental stewardship in rapidly changing African environments, in: Mazingira Yetu, April 2017.
  • Kioko, Eric Mutisya (in print). Conflict Resolution and Crime Surveillance in Kenya: Local Peace Committees and Nyumba Kumi, in: Africa Spectrum, 1/2017
  • Kioko, Eric Mutisya (2016). Turning conflict into coexistence: cross-cutting ties and institutions in the agro-pastoral borderlands of Lake Naivasha basin, Kenya. PhD Thesis, Universität zu Köln. URL:
  • Kioko, Eric Mutisya (2016). Forgotten peace in resource use. In: People and Land, a publication by the Resilience in East Africa Landscapes Research Group. ISBN: 978-0-9573771-5-8.
  • Kioko, E. M. & Bollig, M. (2015). Cross-cutting Ties and Coexistence: Intermarriage, Land Rentals, and Changing Land Use Patterns among Maasai and Kikuyu of Maiella and Enoosupukia, Lake Naivasha Basin, Kenya. Rural Landscapes: Society, Environment, History, 2(1): 1, pp. 1-16, DOI:
  • Kioko, E. M. (2015). Regional Varieties and “Ethnic” Registers of Sheng, In Nico Nassenstein and Andrea Hollington (eds.) Youth Languages Practices in Africa and Beyond. Mouton de Gruyter. Berlin, pp. 119-148.

wanjru1     wanjiru2

Photo 1: Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti accompanying the Cabinet Miniter of Environment in a tree planting campaign.

Photo 2: Elizabeth Wanjiru Wathuti giving a speech on Forstering enthusiasm among young people in Africa for a sustainable future in Las Palmas, Spain

My name is Elizabeth wanjiru Wathuti. I am a passionate environmentalist pursuing a Bachelor degree in Environmental Studies and Community Development. I have made major milestones through the exposure gained and lessons learnt from this course. I was declared the fourth recipient of Wangari Maathai Scholarship award in 2016 due to my outstanding passion and commitment to environmental conservation. This award was initiated by The Greenbelt Movement, Kenya Community Development Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. I also won the National Mazingira Challenge 2016 awards as the public speaker of the year where I gave a speech on the role of youths in combating climate change. My environmental blog - was recently declared the environment blog of the year 2018 during the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) awards. In May 2018, I attended the 12th International Conference on Sustainable Regions in Las Palmas, Gran-canaria, Spain where I gave a speech on "Fostering Enthusiasm Among Young People in Africa for a Sustainable Future. I am currently running an initiative called Green Generation Initiative (GGI_Kenya) through which I nurture more young environmental enthusiasts through conducting environmental education sessions and adopt-a-tree campaign in high schools and primary schools. Environmental studies and community development is a course I would encourage students to take very seriously as it impacts one with skills, knowledge, exposure and the capacity to tap into the many social, economic and environmental opportunities out there.

Dr. Robinson Ocharo, Department of Sociology, University of Nairobi.