Kakamega County Governor Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya has lauded Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) for transforming the lives of people through practical training skills that have empowered Kenyans across the country.
He said the role JKUAT has continued to play has been distinct from other institutions, basing his conclusion on the hands-on skills that JKUAT’s graduates exhibit wherever they are engaged.
This uniqueness inspired the family of the then Member of Parliament for Kitale West (currently Saboti) the late Wafula Wabuge’s to donate part of the deceased Minister’s 50-acre land to JKUAT for the establishment of a Centre that would impart skills through practical training to the locals as per the wishes of the fallen hero.
Governor Oparanya made the remarks, Wednesday, August 2, 2017 when he handed over the Title Deed for the 50 -acre piece of land that was donated and existing structures which included the former Minister’s residential house to the University’s Council and Management at a colourful ceremony held at the late Wabuge’s home in Likuyani, Lugari, Kakamega County.
The Governor told the gathering that Kakamega County was now blessed to have a University of Technology through Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, agriculture through JKUAT and was only remaining with that of Education, a move he noted, was being pursued.
While assuring the JKUAT Management of his Government’s support, Mr. Oparanya urged the locals to embrace the centre and utilize what it intends to offer to fullest.
“This is a lifetime opportunity that you should not waste,” he noted, adding, “It is an opening that will transform this region through the creation of employment, education as well as varied skills that will empower the current and future generations,” he said.
In his remarks, JKUAT Chairman of Council, Prof. Paul Kanyari urged the locals to take advantage of the project’s training component in agriculture, given that most of the people in the area were farmers.
“With the issuance of this Title-Deed, JKUAT will now find a foothold in this part of the country,” said Prof. Kanyari.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Mabel Imbuga while appreciating the efforts by the Governor disclosed that the Centre will open its doors to the first batch of diploma and certificate students in Agriculture and ICT courses under the Technical Industrial Vocational and Entrepreneurship (TIVET) between September and October this year. She urged the locals to enroll their children in these courses.
“This is an opportunity for your children to gain skills in innovation, agriculture, engineering, ICT among other forms of technology that you should not ignore given the global changing trends,” she told the gathering.
The late Wafula Wabuge’s family through his grandson Mr. Isaac Ndelema Wabuge thanked the University for accepting to fulfill the late legislator’s vision. Mr. Ndelema said he was elated to realize his grandfathers’ dream of availing skills-based training to the locals. Also present were JKUAT Directors, Dr. Joel Chelule (Eldoret Campus), Dr. Douglas Musiega (Kakamega Campus) and Mr. Patrick Sichangi (Kitale Campus), among other local leaders.