Moi University At 30 Part III By SARATI Richard

Thirty years ago part of a wattle forest was cleared to pave way for an institution of higher learning. This institution boasts of being located in a rural area. It is not interfered in any way by the busy noisy urban environment where most of the other higher learning institutions are located. Natural resource courses would be offered in a real natural setting. That was what was envisioned by the founders of Moi University. This is the only university in Kenya that began from scratch i.e. by an Act of the Parliament, following The Mackay’s Commission on Education sector reformation. Moi University is one among the several projects in the Education sector that were implemented along with the 8.4.4 education system.

The university may never live to achieve all the recommendations made by The Mackay Commission. These include Kiswahili being the language of content delivery and offering courses in Natural and Environmental Sciences. However, it still remains to be amongst the very few universities that has a vast acreage of land. This land is rich for farming and scenic. The built up section of this land is a very small percentage compared to the underutilized one.

In utilizing this land, the university can engage in the now robust tourism industry. It has the scenery. The waterfall in itself without any modification is a resource. Over 95% of the students visit the Falls at least twice in an academic year. It is also estimated that over 60% of the University staff and one time visitors of Moi University have been to this waterfall. Dwelling on these statistics, Falls receive over 100 visitors weekly. All these visitors go to admire the water falling, relax on the rocks, take photographs, and hold picnics among other leisure related activities.

To the enterprising ones, this is a business opportunity. The university can use this underutilized natural landmark as a step. The grounds near the waterfall can be landscaped and a sport resort set up. The students and other visitors can play games here. When tired, they buy food at this resort hotel. There will no longer be incidences of visitors to Falls being rained on. From the look of things, one of the Messes is running at minimum capacity. In other words, it has been running on losses.

Let the university see this and avoid embarrassment, deploy part of this Mess staff to that resort hotel. This will happen only the administration learns to utilize the available resources. It happened with the setting up of Elimu Millers. The mill was set up to utilize the loads of cereals that was going to waste. This mill is earning the institution revenue and reputation.

The community is waiting for that time when they will see a sign post beside that of Moi University at Cheptiret junction reading: Elimu Resort Hotel. Under it: Hotel, Waterfall, Rock hiking, Amusement Park, Nature Trails. This is when the university would have at least honored its first students who were all studying natural resource based content and teaching staff lecturing them on the same.

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