MEET MR. BRIAN MUNENE WAIRIMU – COUNTY GOVERNMENT OF LAIKIPIA
“Simply put, studying at DeKUT was an ecstatic experience. There is nothing I did that I don't miss. I would study at Dedan Kimathi University of Technology (DeKUT) had we been asked to choose 100 more times. It's more like my all-time institutional home. Thanks to the exceptional training and exposure DeKUT provided, my transition to the job market was flawless. The University keeps growing and has a unique mark that keeps us notable out here. I have always been prepared to face the world but what DeKUT did to me is enhance my courage and knowledge. Nothing really moves people like knowledgeable and courageous people. They listen to you in pin drop silence. I must say the knowledge I gained at DeKUT is special. I take pride in it.”- Brian Munene Wairimu
Brian is our alumnus, graduating class of 2016. He pursued B. Sc Food Science and Technology; a course which he says was inspired by his interest in farming throughout his secondary school study period where he was usually concerned about how to manage losses at the farm as a means to address Food Insecurity in the world. Brian still remembers the kind gentleman, as he puts it, from the security department ‘Wanicko’ who welcomed him at the gate when he joined the University on Monday 5th September, 2011. He says that he felt from the onset, through such gestures, that studying at DeKUT was going to be fun.
Currently, Brian is working at the County Government of Laikipia where he joined as an intern right after his 4th Year Exams and up to date, he says that he works at Laikipia and for Laikipians. “I’m proud to be part of a team that has tremendously transformed the Food Security sector here.”- he adds. Brian is an Extension Assistant in the Fisheries Section but at the time of this publication, he is engaged in a project with other county government of Laikipia officers to roll out a development plan dubbed Kenya Climate Smart Agriculture Program (KCSAP), funded by World Bank. The program, being carried out in 24 counties across the Country is aimed at helping vulnerable communities in setting up frameworks aimed at building resilience against climate change and thus stay safe from adversaries that come with disasters and general climate change effects. He also started a Consultancy Firm, THE FARMIA CONSULT (TFC) which he is slowly building, block by block.
Brian who is among the youngest public servants in The County Government of Laikipia and proud to be in a position to influence several things, including but not limited to Policy Development and Legislation on matters concerning Agribusiness and Food Security is inspired by the commitment that those who fought for our independence had. “I actually discovered that this is my inspiration when I started learning so much about Dedan Kimathi, the man after whom DeKUT is named. The inspiration keeps growing, every time I notice that there are committed Kenyans ready to get things done right, just as our freedom fighters did.” – he adds. His interest is Food Security and Zero Hunger. In his words, “I still feel that unless we strive to ensure enough food, and by enough I mean from a technical approach, i.e food that is affordable, of nutritional value and of good quality, we may not be in a position to address any other development aspect. No Engineer will build a road on an empty stomach, no malnourished child will attend school, no underfed doctor will treat underfed patients, I mean, we all eat. We all need food. That's how Food Security should be approached. It should be a collective goal and a personalized approach will help us realize it. We all need to address this topic. My realization that nothing will move forward in a hungry nation and World at large is what makes me wake up every morning and think about Food Security. It's the ultimate reason I strive to change that which I feel should change.”
Amidst everything he is engaged in, Brian is currently developing a program to advocate for CHANGE IN THE YOUTH MINDSET about AGRIBUSINESS, with a specific focus on ASAL Counties (13 of them for a start). He points out that for Kenya to achieve Food Security, we must utilize what resources we have adding that the greatest underutilized resource we have is the Human Capital. “To be precise, a skilled human capital called the youth. We have heard time and again that 60% of the Population in Kenya is below 35 years, KNBS (2016). That population expects to be fed by, sadly, a farming population where the average age of a farmer in Kenya is 55 years and above. I mean, what nation feeds themselves with such a distorted approach in strategy? So, that's my focus for now. I would like more and more youths to take up the challenge, and join me and other great young men and women in feeding our nation. Under the program, I have taken in some advice from like-minded youths and experts, so that we make it a reality. In the long run, I hope to have a conglomerate of young people who are dedicated in resolving our food insecurity and finally making it a national duty, that every youth feels obliged to take part in the agenda to feed their nation.” – explained Brian passionately.
As a parting shot, Brian reiterates a quote often used by who he calls his boss and friend, H. E Ndiritu Muriithi, the governor of Laikipia County, “EVEN GOOD THINGS CAN BE MADE BETTER.” A quote he says has kept him wondering, “what am I doing to make the good in me better, and the good in this world better?” And thus, he further wonders, “can DeKUT be made better? Can it make things better?”Oh yes! In any case, what's the motto? "Better Life through Technology". Brian, keep conquering! As your alma mater, we are proud.