The Centre for Mining, Environmental Engineering and Resource Management (CEMEREM) was set up at at Taita Taveta University Voi from a grant received by the German Academic Exchange (DAAD). It is a partnership between Taita Taveta University, the University of Applied Sciences Dresden and the TU- Bergakademie Freiberg.
The summer school was therefore a project of CEMEREM which supports staff and student exchange where both staff and students of Taita Taveta University were sponsored to Germany for a week. The theme being “Aspects of Environmental and Resource Management in Germany”. The summer school involved 20 students and staff of Taita Taveta University, Kenya as follows:
Prof Jonah Kiptanui Arap Too, Mr. Mohammed Habib Mruttu, Mr. Shibairo Peter Misango, Mr. Bellah Chepkulei, Mrs Amina Ndinya, Mr. Christopher Masila, Mr. Dalmas O Mauti, Mrs. Anne Kemunto Nyabuti, Apollo Florence, Righa Milkah Nyambura, George Ochienga Ouma, Josephat Kilusha Mwale, Allan Tanui Kipkoech, Harrison Mwangi Kamau, Fridah Valencia Muthoni, Ronnice Kipkoech, Mercy Mwaiki Kwiya, Joseph Kyangi, Peter Koinange Njeri, and Biasha Hamisi Zito.
Prof Too was the head of delegation.
The event was well organized and participants well informed of the requirements and important dates for the summer school.
OBJECTIVES OF THE SUMMER SCHOOL
The summer school involved students and lecturers from the School of Mining and the School of business. The main focus of the summer school was to give exposure to both the students involved in mining, environmental engineering and those in management of natural resources thus the reason why Master of Business Administration students and staff from the Business and Economics Department management were among those in the program. It was an eye opening program that meant to give practical experience to the participants by means of lectures and actual site visits to factories/sites such as underground mines, water plants, other renewable energy producing plants, farms that produce biogas, among many other activities. The end expectation is sustainable resource management that involves use of advanced technology. The collaboration between the universities also aimed at producing building human capacity for Taita Taveta Univeristy for the thematic areas. The exchange is expected to inspire research publications arising from the benchmark that the participants acquired from Germany during the trip.
THE ACTUAL PROGRAM
Day 1 – Sat 8th July 2017
The Lufthansa Airline plane departed from JKIA, Nairobi at 2200hrs after successful clearance of all the staff and students by the relevant authorities. It was a pleasant and anxious moment and experience as it was first time for majority to board an international flight.
Day 2 – Sun 9th July 2017
Arrival at Frankfurt international Airport before proceeding to Dresden
After arrival at Dresden City, the participants were taken on a tour of the Dresden City by Bus, where they had an opportunity to see historical sites, buildings, river. The road and rail network working perfectly and strict observance of traffic rules by pedestrians, vehicles and tramps. The tour was very enjoyable.
The participants checked into the Holiday Inn Hotel which provided a nice stay as they were well taken care of. There was organized a welcome barbecue in the evening, where the participants got an opportunity to meet other students from different parts of the world studying in different universities in German e.g. HTW Dresden, TU Freiberg among others.
Day 3 – Mon 10th July 2017.
Participants were moved to a hostel near HTW Dresden.
There was afterwards a photo session at the HTW Dresden reception
Afterwards the participants had a welcome note from Prof. Stenzel, the Rector of HTW Dresden, we were warmly welcomed to the University and German in General. There was a number of lectures on that day at the same University.
The first Lecture was on “Post-mining water issues in Lusatia, Germany” by Prof. Grischek
Through this, the participants learnt the mining process from pre to post mining activities. The focus of the lecture was on how to use and preserve both surface and ground water during mining as well as the various ways of treatment and recycling of water from the mines. Maintaining quality and the demand for water was captured too in this lecture.
The second Lecture was on “Financing and Financial Reporting to Mining Projects” by Prof. Bongaerts
The participants were taken through the real value of mines and mining operations by: share prices, real options and the AMC value. Also covered in this lecture was the various financing schemes for mining operations and whether they increase or decrease shareholders value and risk; equity, bonds, bank loans, convertible bonds, royalties, streaming, offtake agreements etc. this lecture was particularly beneficial to economics and business department staff and students.
The third lecture was on “Judging and Addressing Climate Change” by Prof. Feistel and Dr. Liu
Here the participants learnt about the historical climatic changes and the issue of global warming, the agreements and treaties on the Global warming and climate change; the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the Joint Implementation (JI) and their benefits
There was another Lecture on “What Kenya can learn from Germany in Leading the Shift to Renewable Energy” by Mr. Adero
The participants learnt many ways and areas that Kenya can benefit from Germany in the shift to renewable energy in the following areas: solar power, wind power, geothermal power, hydro power and biomass. From this presentation, they learnt that Kenya is well endowed with the natural resources required to develop and produce renewable energy and that Kenya is underutilizing its natural resources. Lack of skills and expertise was identified as the main hindrance to full exploitation of these resources.
The lectures provided a good opportunity for plenary sessions where participants and the presenters had meaningful engagements. A lot was learnt from the lectures which also set the stage for the field visits which followed afterwards.
Visit to “Nossener Brucke” Power Plant at Saxoniastr
The participants were taken through the processes, techniques, equipment and personnel involved in production of Power where they learnt also how to efficiently and effectively produce power.
It was learnt that the byproducts of power produced are water and steam, water is sold to the grid and steam used to warm houses during cold season.
Power is produced and distributed by private firms and not the government like it’s done here in Kenya. Adequate measures are taken to ensure safety of the workers and the consumers and even the neighboring community.
The production is well planned and scheduled based on demand
Day 4 – Tue 11th July 2017
Visit of the Welzow-Sud Open Pit Mine
The students had an opportunity to visit one of the largest and oldest coal mines in Germany where they learnt the process of coal mining. It was a very exciting experience getting down into the mines with staff of the mining companies taking them through the processes.
Visit to Welzow-Sud/Weisendorf Mining Rehabilitation Project
During this site visit, the participants learnt about rehabilitation of mine lands and were able to see physically rehabilitated lands on which trees have been planted.
Day 5 – Wed 12th July 2017
Feedback on the excursions at Welzow-Sud/Weisendorf Mining Rehabilitation Project.
The participants were able to give feedback on what they saw and learnt during the visit to the open cast mines and rehabilitated mine lands. The discussion was very vibrant.
Poster presentation sessions by the students
Prior to the trip to Germany, participants were required to prepare and present posters that would capture the theme of the summer school. All participants were given an opportunity to present their posters which would be evaluated and the best presenters rewarded.
Visit to the Geotechnical Laboratory at HTW Dresden
The participants then had a visit to the geotechnical laboratoty at the University which they learnt was for both educational, research and commercial purposes. They acquired a lot of knowledge about soils.
Visit to Hosterwitz Waterworks
Afterwards, the participants were taken to a water plant where they saw the process of water purification. The water plant supplies water to a lot of households in the area.
Walk in the Park the participants then got an opportunity to relax with a walk in the park an afterwards took a boat ride back to Dresden.
Day 6 – Thu 13th July 2017
Visit to “Reiche Zeche” Underground mine at TU BAF
This was perhaps one of the most exciting site visits at the Freiberg University where participants went over 45 metres underground to see the underground mines.
Visit to Terra Mineralia, Minerals Museum.
Afterwards they had an opportunity to visit Terra Mineralia which has a collection of minerals from all 0ver the world in one place. The minerals on display make one of the biggest privately owned displays of minerals in Europe. Of interest was the fact that there were hardly any minerals from Kenya.
Day 7 – Fri 14th July 2017
Visit to the Energy Technology Laboratory, Biogas Laboratory. Laser Laboratory and Solar thermal plant at TU BAF
Through this visit, the participants were able to learn about solar energy, wind energy as well as production of biogas.
Visit to Agrargenossenschaft Bergland Clausnitz Biogas Plant and Kunstschacht
This was a farm that practices production of biogas in huge quantities.
Day 8 – Sat 15th July 2017
Evaluation of the week’s activities
This was the last day of the summer school. Participants had an opportunity to evaluate the week’s activities, led by by Prof Too, Mr. Mruttu and Ms. Anne Nyabuto. The students were able to capture what they learnt during the week.
Awards to the best Posters
The winners of the posters were named and awarded as well as feedback given on what made their posters stand out. At number 1 was Mercy Kwiya Mwaniki while number 2 was held by three participants: Milkah Righa, George Ochienga and Kamau Harrison.
Award of Certificates
The participants were awarded certificates of participation in the program which was followed by Closing Remarks by Prof. Feistel.
Day 9 – Sun 16th July 2017
The participants departed from Dresden Airport to JKIA, Nairobi through Frankfurt airport.
- The Summer School was a very good and one in a lifetime experience for participant’s first for the mere fact that they were able to go to Germany and experience life there. A lot was learnt on the thematic area of the CEMEREM Summer School as well as on University life in Germany.
- During the evaluation session, participants were able to give feedback on the whole exercise and among some of the issues that were noted are as follows:
- The program needed to be planned in such way that lecturers from TTU are able to interact more on a face to face with the lecturers of the Host universities.
- The program needed to include more sessions for the Business and management students/ staff as it mostly paid attention to the technical areas of mining and environmental engineering.
- It was also noted that participants at some point shied away from asking questions as some facilitators were not very willing to answer questions. This was perhaps occasioned by the different cultures and way of doing things of Germans and Kenyans.
- It was suggested and agreed that while the field visits were very important they needed to be fairly distributed among the days to avoid getting the participants too tired as they involved a lot of standing and walking.
- Participants would wish that they can have access to the library to be able to
- However, the participants expressed appreciation for the opportunity for such exposure.
The participants would like to acknowledge all the stakeholders for the opportunity to be take part in the Summer School program:
- DAAD (German Academic Exchange)
- The Host Universities – University of Applied Sciences Dresden and the TU- Bergakademie Freiberg.
- Taita Taveta University
- The Vice Chancellor of TTU and the management of the University that gave the opportunity, facilitated, supported and prepared the participants.
- The CEMEREM Management Team and secretariat for assistance in planning and bookings.
- The University Departments, deans, lecturers.
- Prof Too who was the head of the delegation to Germany.
- The Kenyan Students in Germany who were of great help to us: Chebet, Baya and Adero
- And everyone else who made the trip possible and successful.