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UNESCO GRO-GTP short courses VI officially opens, draws participants from 12 countries

The UNESCO GRO-GTP Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) short course VI on Exploration and Development of Geothermal Resources was officially opened on Sunday, November 20, 2022, in Naivasha.

The ceremony marked the commencement of the second phase of the training programme after the completion of the first part, which covered fieldwork in the Baringo-Silali and Menengai Geothermal Projects. The second phase includes lectures and practical sessions at Kengen’s Olkaria Geothermal Project.

Participants follow proceedings during the UNESCO GRO-GTP Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) short course VI on Exploration and Development of Geothermal Resources opening ceremony in Naivasha, Kenya

This year’s cohort of trainees has been carrying out fieldwork exercises for six days since Monday, November 14, 2022. The group had a chance to undertake practical sessions in various geothermal sites including the Paka field and Menengai Geothermal Project in the Baringo area and Nakuru County respectively.

The program is a collaboration between UNESCO GRO-GTP, GDC and KenGen and has progressively grown geothermal experts in the region since its inception in 2005. This year’s training programme brings together 44 participants from 12 countries. The nations represented include Kenya, Morocco, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Djibouti, Comoros, Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria and Germany.

GDC’s General Manager, Geothermal Resource Management, Mr. Cornel Ofwona reads the MD’s speech during the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals Short Course VI on Exploration and Development of Geothermal Resources

“The short courses held over the years have fostered partnerships and cooperation between neighbouring countries both in geothermal project development and in the transfer of technology and human resource,” said GDC General Manager, Geothermal Resource Development Mr. Cornel Ofwona while reading the MD & CEO Eng. Jared O Othieno’s speech.

“The success of geothermal development is pegged on three key pillars: availability of the geothermal resource, finance, and expertise. That is why the three institutions have anchored this training on a platform of opportunities and the creation of a critical mass of experts in the region,” said GDC Geothermal Centre of Excellence Acting Manager Dr. Robert Ogutu during the opening ceremony.

“This is a programme that can be opened up to various countries because, at the end of the day, we are keen on developing capacity in geothermal resource development,” he continued.

Organizing Committee Secretariat chair and KenGen Manager, Reservoir & Steam Field Management, Mr. Clety Bore reiterated the importance of the short course to geothermal resource development and outlined what participants will learn over the remaining phase of the short course.

“UNESCO GRO-GTP Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) short is committed to building the capacity of geothermal practitioners to ensure the development and exploration of geothermal resources,” said Mr. Bore.

His sentiments were echoed by Málfríður Ómarsdóttir, Environmental Scientist and Project Manager at GRO-GTP Iceland, who is one of the Courses facilitators. “I hope that this course will have a long and fruitful future as it is very important to support geothermal development at this time,” she said.

Emmaculate Gakii one of the trainees from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Kenya, noted that the first week of the training has been phenomenal. “This training is engaging and enlightening. We are being taught how the geophysical, geological and geochemistry are all interconnected to bring out the geothermal energy,” she explained.

The four-week training will conclude on December 3, 2022.

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