RCE Greater Nairobi - 2019

Determination of the effect of Nairobi River water quality on irrigated rice seed germination and production
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Determination of the effect of Nairobi River water quality on irrigated rice seed germination and production
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Nairobi
Contributing organization(s) : 
Kenyatta University
School of Agriculture and Enterprise development
Kenya Plant Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS)
Department of Agricultural Science and Technology
Seed Trade Association of Kenya(STAK)
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Name: 
Dr. Mukiri wa Githendu
Organizational Affiliation: 
Deparment of Agricultural Science and Technology, Kenyatta University
Format of project: 
manuscript
Language of project: 
English
Date of submission:
Sunday, May 5, 2019
Additional resources: 
Germination cabinets, germination containers, sterilized sand,petri dishes, seed counters, paper towels, rice seeds of various genotypes/varieaties, watering bottles, etc
NATIONAL SEED CERTIFICATION POLICY, NATIONAL ENVIRONMET POLICY 2013, NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION POLICY, 2012
At what level is the policy operating?: 
National
Geographical & Education Information
Region: 
Africa and Middle East
Country: 
Kenya
Location(s): 
NAIROBI COUNTY
Address of focal point institution for project: 
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (AST),
ROOM 117, 1ST FLOOR, NEW ARTS COMPLEX (A),
KENYATTA UNIVERSITY, THIKA SUPERHIGHWAY,
P.O BOX 43844-00100
NAIROBI.
Level of Education for intended audience:
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Rice is the 2nd most important cereal of Kenya, after maize. It is a popular source of carbohydrate and is produced in irrigated conditions in Kirinyaga County and, in small quantities in the Nyanza region. Recently, farmers in the Ruai area in the outskirts of the city have began to grow rice under irrigated conditions along the Nairobi River. Unfortunately, the the water from Nairobi River is contaminated due to illegal dumping of waste upstream and frequent leakage of the sewerage system.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
Rice production in Ruai area has been hampered by pollution of the water being used for irrigation and the flooding of the area, especially during the long rains season in April to June of each year. The water quality affects the germination of the irrigated rice crops and field emergence besides the usual challenges of seed performance and vigor due to poor seed quality. Due to lack of appreciation of the sustainable development principles and SDGs, many farmers have not been investing in purifying the water for irrigation and the communities along the river have not been active in environmental conservation issues and activities in the area. The pollution in the riparian land interferes with seedling establishment and field emergence of the rice crops.
Contents
Status: 
Ongoing
Period: 
January, 2017
Rationale: 
The riparian land along Nairobi river in Ruai sub-county of Nairobi has been degraded due to the agricultural activities carried out along the river. Furthermore, the river has been used as a place for illegal dumping hence water in the river is polluted and thus there was need to assess to what extent this pollution affected the germination, emergence and establishment of rice crops planted in the area. Seed is the foundation of agriculture in any country as portrayed by the Biblical saying that "What you sow is what you reap!" This saying can be paraphrased that: "the water you use,to irrigate the crops you sow, determines what you reap!" It was therefore deemed appropriate to find out how rice crops seed germination was affected by the quality of the water used on the crops.It was also decided that information generated on the effect of the water on the crops could a good catalyst to promote awareness of environmental conservation and to reduce pollution in the river as per SDG NO.6. The information on the effect of the river water is not only useful crop agronomists but also environmental conservation and public management officers in the County.
Objectives: 
1) To determine the effect of polluted water from Nairobi River on the germination, vigor and field emergence of irrigated rice seeds lots of different varieties
2) To use seed technology information/data to mobilize communities to engage in sustainable development appreciate SDGs
3) To find out if there are genotypic(varietal) differences in rice crops' resistance to polluted water
4) To integrate seed technology principles to sustainable development and environmental conservation
5) To disseminate the seed performance information to farming community, public administrators and environmental conservation stakeholders with a view to mobilizing farmers and community to engage in conservation and sustainable agriculture.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
collecting contaminated water from Nairobi River and using it along side purified water in germination rice seed lots of different varieties; purifying Nairobi River water using standard water purification procedures; comparing the effect of the contaminated water with those of purified water from the same river and site; performing germination capacity, vigor and field emergence tests as per the guidelines of International Seed Testing ASSOCIATION (ISTA). Analyzing the data using SAS(Statistical Analysis System) and making conclusion; disseminating the information to Nairobi County environmental conservation officers and public administration officers involved in the riparian land and agricultural activities down stream (Ruai Sub-County); Assessing any changes in environmental conservation that may take place as the data from seed testing is shared with the communities.
Size of academic audience: 
400-1000 undergraduate students, 20 post graduate students and 15 facualty staff
Results: 
1) In all the seed lots used so far, the purified/clean water had a higher percentage of germination capacity than those where raw/contaminated water was used. The amount of normal seedlings (those with well developed shoot and root system) was higher for the purified water than that of raw river water.
2) Seed vigor and field emergence was higher for purified water than raw water from Nairobi River.
3) There were clear genotypic differences in the performance of the seed for both clean and contaminated water; thus it was easy to pick those varieties that did better when irrigated with contaminated water.
4)When the seed performance data was shared with the communities along the river, the farmers and rge agricultural extension and environmental conservation staff, there was clear enhancement of positive attitudes towards sustainable development and SDGs.
5) Water quality in the river is improving
6) Some aspects of riparian land are being reclaimed
7) Illegal dumping of waste into the river is decreasing
8) ,ore farmers are purifying the water before irrigating the rice crops
Lessons learned: 
It was learnt that it was more effective to use multi disciplinary approaches in mobilizing communities in sustainable development and sustainable agriculture. IT was also learnt that food security can be achieved better when environmental conservation principles were integrated into agriculture. Ir was learnt that information is power and it can change community and farmers' attitudes.
Key messages: 
Food security and environmental conservation are as intertwined like Siamese twins!
Holistic or integrated approaches are more effective in urban and peri-urban agriculture!
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
The work of the project is clearly connected with other RCEs epecially those focusing in recycling of e-waste management. The project can relate to other RCEs dealing with biosafety, ethics and policy in food production.
Funding: 
The support provided by Kenyatta University, KEPHIS,STAK and Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock is hereby acknowledged.

Pictures:

File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
SEEDS OF RICE
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
Direct
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
Direct
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
Indirect
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
Direct
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
Indirect
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
Direct
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
Indirect
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
Indirect
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
Indirect
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
Indirect
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
Direct
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
Indirect
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
Indirect
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
Direct
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
Indirect
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
Indirect
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Indirect
Theme
Disaster Risk Reduction 
Direct
Traditional Knowledge  
Indirect
Agriculture 
Direct
Arts 
Indirect
Curriculum Development 
Indirect
Ecotourism 
Indirect
Forests/Trees 
Indirect
Plants & Animals 
Direct
Waste 
Direct
Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development – Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Indirect
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Direct
Priority Action Area 3 - Building capacities of educators and trainers 
Direct
Priority Action Area 4 - Empowering and mobilizing youth 
Indirect
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
Direct