Post-Graduate Students Profiles

C

Department of Geology, 
College of Biological and Physical Sciences,
University of Nairobi,
P. O. Box 30197 - 00100,
Tel: +254 20 4444118
Email: geology@uonbi.ac.ke
Nairobi, Kenya

Biography

I studied undergraduate geology at the University of Nairobi. My undergraduate thesis was on the hydrology of a palaeo – lake in central Kenyan Rift, Case study: Lake Naivasha. I completed my studies with a master of Science degree under the Erasmus Mundus program under a joint collaboration from Universities of Plymouth, Cadiz and Algarve where I obtained a Joint European Master of Science degree in Water and Coastal Management. My master thesis was on the application of the Systems Approach Framework (SAF) methodology developed under the Science and Policy Integration for Coastal System Assessment (SPICOSA) project funded by the EU’s 6th Framework program on Lake Baringo, Kenya.

 

Research

My PhD project was part funded by the French government under the L’Agence Inter-établissements de Recherche pour le Développement (AIRD) grant and Campus France through the French Embassy in Nairobi and focused on Late Holocene biogeochemical changes from three crater lakes on Mt. Kenya (Lakes Nkunga, Sacred and Rutundu). The aim of this study was to elucidate the Late Holocene history of climate and environmental changes on Mount Kenya using multi-proxy palaeo-indicators in soil and lake sediments. The multi-proxy analysis that was carried out on the Mount Kenya soils and lake sediments comprised traditional sedimentological (XRD, XRF and Xlf) and relatively novel organic geochemical analyses (%C, %N, δ13C, δ15N, n-alkanes and GDGT). This work was carried out at University of Nairobi and Sorbonne University (Former Université Pierre et Marie Curie) in Paris in collaboration with different laboratories at UPMC – METIS, CEREGE and ALYSES.

 

Personal CV CLICK HERE

F

Department of Geology, 
College of Biological and Physical Sciences,
University of Nairobi,
P. O. Box 30197 - 00100,
Tel: +254 20 4444118
Email: geology@uonbi.ac.ke
Nairobi, Kenya

PHD RESEARCH TITLE:-

THE HYDROGEOLOGY OF THE LODWAR ALLUVIAL AQUIFER SYSTEM AND ITS VULNERABILITY TO RAINFALL AND STREAMFLOW VARIABILITY, TURKANA COUNTY, KENYA


BY; FLORENCE JEROTICH TANUI
I80/51693/2017
 

A Thesis Submitted for Examination in Fulfilment of the Requirements for Award of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Geology of the University of Nairobi
2020

 

Abstract
Lodwar is one of the fastest-growing urban areas of Sub-Saharan Africa that depends mainly on groundwater for its municipal water supply. Most of the groundwater sources are within the riparian zones of the Turkwel River. With limited understanding of its aquifers, the groundwater of Lodwar may be at risk of natural processes and anthropogenic activities, in the face of increasing climate variability. This research investigated the geology, hydrogeology and aquifer geochemistry in Lodwar and its environs to improve the scientific understanding of the groundwater resources in the area for sustainable water supplies.
The research methods included geological mapping and rock sample collection, geophysics, seasonal groundwater quality monitoring and investigation of isotopes of oxygen-18, deuterium and tritium. Data analysis included X-ray fluorescence (XRF), and X-ray diffraction (XRD) for rock samples and full chemical analysis for water samples. Various multivariate statistical techniques and modelling tools were used in data interpretation; basic statistics, principal component analysis (PCA), hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and PHREEQC.
Three distinct aquifers, which we collectively refer to as the Lodwar Alluvial Aquifer System, underlie Lodwar and its environs, namely; the shallow alluvial aquifer (SAA), intermediate aquifer (IA), and deep aquifer (DA) aquifers which are the primary source of fresh water. A fourth, the Turkana Grit Shallow Aquifer (TGSA), is highly saline and with fluoride contamination. Just as the Turkwel River, the SAA is dominated by Ca-HCO3 water type, while the TGSA is dominated by Na-Cl water type, but Na-HCO3 water type is dominant close to its contact with the Holocene sediments. The intermediate aquifer (IA) is Na-HCO3 water type. Pockets of Mg-HCO3 water occur in the shallow alluvial and intermediate aquifers. The natural processes controlling the chemistry of the SAA include rock-water interaction, recharge by surface water, and oxidation reactions, while evaporation and dissolution are the major factors influencing that of the TGSA. Ion exchange, dilution, and dissolution are the dominant processes in the IA. Elevated levels of NO3- and SO42- during the wet season within the SAA and the IA reflects their vulnerability to anthropogenic and natural pollution, respectively.

J

Department of Geology, 
College of Biological and Physical Sciences,
University of Nairobi,
P. O. Box 30197 - 00100,
Tel: +254 20 4444118
Email: geology@uonbi.ac.ke
Nairobi, Kenya

PhD Research Title:- THE GEOMETRY, HYDROGEOCHEMISTRY AND VULNERABILITY OF AQUIFERS TO POLLUTION IN URBAN AND RURAL SETTINGS: A CASE STUDY OF KISUMU AND MT. ELGON AQUIFERS

 

ABSTRACT

Kenya is one of the countries in the sub-Saharan Africa considered to have water scarcity and the national per capita water is below the 1,000 cubic meters. The estimated per capita by the Kenya government in 2005 was at about 647 cubic meters and in 2009 it was estimated at 534 cubic meters. Water scarcity in the country is expected to get worse by 2025 when per capita water is estimated to be about 235 cubic meters. This projected low per capita is a serious threat to socio-economic development, the ecosystems and the efforts to achieve the Government of Kenya blue print of Vision 2030 and the United Nations sustainable development Goal 6. This study aimed at appraising the aquifer geometry, hydrogeochemistry and vulnerability of aquifers to pollution in an urban and rural setting in Kenya. The urban aquifer is Kisumu and the rural aquifer is Mt. Elgon. Test drilling for lithologic samples, aquifer testing, and analyses of previously available data permitted delineation of aquifer dynamics, generalized transmissivity distribution, and interpretation of the groundwater flow system. The research entailed field surveys, water sampling and analysis, interviews, existing literature review and analysis of historical borehole data and current data from selected monitoring wells. The specific research objectives were; (a) to delineate the aquifer geometry in the selected areas of study and estimation of aquifer properties including yields, transmissivity and storativity values through pumping tests data in selected wells, (b) to establish groundwater quality and evaluate how groundwater chemistry was modified by rock-water and surface-groundwater interactions and land uses through analysis of water samples and (c) to determine recharge sources through environmental isotope signatures in groundwater. The research revealed that the shallow Kisumu aquifer is extremely heterogeneous. Mt. Elgon aquifer is also heterogeneous.

S

P. O Box 49, Kabarak, Kenya

Koech_ben@students.uonbi.ac.ke/ sirfaya@gmail.com/ koechbernard13@yahoo.com

Phone:- + 254713863232

Achievements

 

  • Collection of data using geophysical, geological and geochemical methods to determine the natural resources of Turkana County in 2015.
  • Geological mapping of Lukenya hills with the harsh conditions and language barriers still managed to complete it within the stipulated time
  • While in final year at University, I did manage to complete a project on petroleum exploration (case study of Turkana) and their economic importance in Kenya and presented a poster in Kigali-Rwanda on the same during the 3rd East Africa Petroleum Conference & Exhibition 2015.

 

Key Skills & Attributes

  • Proven ability to support management and coordinate teams and external organisations
  • Extensive experience of project/programme, implementation and monitoring
  • High tolerance and endurance working in stressful and unstable environment
  • Ability to effectively interact with the public in communicating a wide range of information
  • Multilingual, fluent in English, Swahili and Kalenjin dialects
  • Strong team Player

 

 

MSC THESIS PROPOSAL TITLE:

MAPPING OF THE SEISMIC HAZARDS ALONG THE KENYAN KENYAN RIFT VALLEY LAKES:
A case study of Lakes Magadi, Naivasha, Nakuru , Elementaita, Bogoria and Baringo By

T

Department of Geology, 
College of Biological and Physical Sciences,
University of Nairobi,
P. O. Box 30197 - 00100,
Tel: +254 20 4444118
Email: geology@uonbi.ac.ke
Nairobi, Kenya

ASSESSMENT OF HYDRO-GEOLOGIC CONTROLS AND IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON GROUNDWATER RESOURCES IN THE EWASO NGIRO - LAGH DERA BASIN.

BY:

TABITHA WAMBUI GITHINJI

I80/50015/2015

 

Abstract

Water is one of the vital needs for human survival on this world.  Thirteen million Kenyans lack access to improved water supply and nineteen million lack access to improved sanitation.  Changing climate combined with increased anthropogenic activities has increasingly strained the already existing water shortages and economic inequalities in arid regions such as, Ewaso Ngiro - Lagh Dera basin in the North Eastern Kenya. It is essential to acknowledge that the groundwater in arid and semi-arid regions is important for maintaining water supplies and sustaining livelihoods. There is a need to protect these resources for sustainable utilization. Research in the area has also shown that the quality and quantity of groundwater in the aquifers within these regions has been deteriorating over time. This can hypothetically be related to various factors such as geology, pollution, climate change and anthropogenic influences.  

The main goal of this research will be to assess the hydro-geologic controls on groundwater resources and to establish how climate change will impact future availability of the water resources in the region. This will be achieved by establishing the hydrogeochemical and hydro-geophysical characteristics of groundwater and define the hydrogeological framework of the aquifers in the research area; Determining the possible intertwinement of surface and groundwater; Investigating impacts of climate change on groundwater resource.

The methodology will entail both fieldwork and laboratory analysis. This will include geochemical water analysis, electrical resistivity geophysical investigations. Borehole log data and groundwater level will be applied in construction of a hydrostratigraphic model that will form a basis in construction of a hydrological conceptual model and ultimately a groundwater numerical model. Climate change data will be downloaded from the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX). Climate scenarios will be formulated for the projected period 2011and 2100. Using the present situation and projected scenarios, seasonal and annual recharge will be simulated using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). The annual recharge outputs from SWAT model will then be used to simulate groundwater system conditions using MODFLOW model setups for the present condition and for the future years. 

The expected outcomes include 2D and 3D hydrogeological water balance models. These models will be used in the making of decision pertaining to groundwater in the region and other regions with similar geologic, population and climatic conditions.