“Promoting New Solutions to Water Crises in a Changing Kenya” – Doug Graber Neufeld

& Faculty/Staff Speakers, University Colloquium Series.

Promoting New Solutions to Water Crises in a Changing Kenya

Doug Graber Neufeld, PhD

Kenya faces a range of growing water-related challenges that typify those in many countries around the world. Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) works with local and international partners in Kenya to encourage the adoption of sustainable solutions to these challenges. This seminar will describe three such MCC projects: 1) sand dams for community water harvesting in semi-arid regions, 2) conservation agriculture for increased crop production in rainfed agriculture, and 3) solar disinfection for clean water supply in urban slums of Nairobi. Rigorous monitoring and experimentation is playing a key role in successes of these projects that promote changes in behavior and technology. Lessons coming out of this emphasis center on the importance of participatory approaches, coupled with advances in understanding how social change happens and how individuals make decisions.

Doug Graber Neufeld, Professor of Biology at Eastern Mennonite University, received his B.A. from Tabor College, and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Austin. He held post-doctoral research positions at medical schools at the University of Arizona, and the University of Otago (New Zealand) before coming to EMU in 1998, where he teaches courses related to environmental sustainability and health. As of this August, he is director of the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions, a collaborative effort of EMU, Goshen College and Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). Doug has worked for MCC on water-related projects twice, first for two years in Cambodia, and more recently for two years in Kenya. In addition, he works with water projects locally, with a focus on water quality impacts in local streams.