An Analytical and Imaging Laboratory has been launched at Murang’a University of Technology to help in Research and learning at the institution.
While launching the facility, the National Research Fund (NRF) board of trustees’ chairman, Prof Ratemo Michieka said it is important for the government to invest in such infrastructure to help in learning and research at universities.
Prof Michieka noted that the lab would raise the status of the university as a research institution and termed it as the first big project of its kind funded by the government.
The NRF chairman said that the laboratory is a modern facility that can be used in identifying and solving problems such as detecting various poisons and pollutants in water and soils to enable appropriate action.
“This equipment should enable us to identify and solve various problems facing different sectors such as agriculture, pharmaceuticals and even construction by analysing various products and ensuring quality is upheld,” he said.
The former Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Vice Chancellor said that the laboratory is open to all local universities and welcomed collaborations even from the East African Community and beyond.
“This laboratory, having been funded by the Kenyan Government, is open to other institutions of research especially universities that are training young people to analyse materials that were previously being taken out to other countries,” the professor said.
“The Government is proud of the steps that Murang’a University of Technology has taken towards the advancement of science and technology in this country,” he added.
He noted that demand for quality services from government bodies by consumers continues to escalate, considering changing technology and increased access to information and knowledge by customers that enables them to create a certain level of expectation on the quality of service they require and aspire.
Prof Michieka underscored the importance of delivering results from such big investments and urged the university’s Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Dickson Nyariki to ensure that the equipment is kept in working condition and is well maintained at all times.
The lab, worth over Sh50 million was constructed majorly using a grant of about Sh46 million got from the NRF in 2017.
Prof Nyariki on his part said that the facility is going to improve the status of the institution, in training students, carrying out research for post graduate students as well as researchers from outside the university. It will also be useful to the community in terms of soil and water quality analysis.
The VC noted that the laboratory also has the potential of being an income generating lab where interested persons who have materials they need analysed can use the lab for a fee.
By Purity Mugo