Story of Kenyan Man Thriving in US With Life-Changing Initiatives

Story of Kenyan Man Thriving in US With Life-Changing Initiatives
Story of Kenyan Man Thriving in US With Life-Changing Initiatives. Professor Dr Kefa Otiso

A Kenyan Professor Dr Kefa Otiso working at the Department of Geography, Bowling Green State University, in the United States has been hailed for his extensive research on Lake Victoria.

Kefa Otiso is among an elite group of Kenyans who have been awarded the Elder of Order of the Burning Spear (EBS) national honors due to his research contributions and diaspora engagements.

The Professor is accomplished in geographic research on urban and economic geography, development, globalization, immigration, and Remote Sensing and Geoinformatics (GIS) applications in the context of Africa and North America.

He has focused his research on the context of Africa and North America. In 2017, Otiso was part of a team that received a Ksh17,793,000 grant from the US Department of State to run a Summer Civic Leadership Institute at Bowling Green State University for 21 Young African Leaders fellows ( from various African countries. His current Lake Victoria research is funded by a multi-year US National Research Foundation grant worth $299,863 (about 35,647,713 Kenya Shillings).

However, his current research on Lake Victoria has been hailed for its prospects to bring a significant shift due to the awareness he is raising.

Together with researchers from Bowling Green State University, they are using multiple scientific disciplines to compare and contrast toxic algae’s effects, both locally and abroad.

The investigators are working to better understand Lake Victoria’s algal blooms which threaten the lake’s environmental, social, and economic value.

Otiso explained that this is a complex societal problem that requires wide-ranging research to come up with a solution before it is too late.

The analysis of Lake Victoria helped the team from Bowling Green State University explore the socio-economic and public policy side of harmful algal blooms.

“These problems have become quite big. They are essentially systemic problems,” Otiso noted.

“Even if we found out, for example, that agriculture or sewage from cities is contributing to algal blooms, the solution is not as easy as telling people not to farm or telling cities not to discharge sewage in rivers or lakes. You end up having so many dimensions to actually fix the problem,” he added.

Otiso has considerably studied urban and economic issues, particularly as they relate to the development of African countries.

He noted that water touches every area of society, and consequently offers a striking challenge when battling harmful algal blooms.

“You need a lot of moving parts at the same time to address the issue. You are dealing with water-quality issues, but you are also dealing with fisheries, which are very important,” he explained.



Story of Kenyan Man Thriving in US With Life-Changing Initiatives

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