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Seeta High reaps big from Mak Wastewater management Initiative

  • In Sciences
  • 7 Jun 2011 - 11:22am
  • By Anonymous (not verified)
  • 29,597
Wastewater management and sewage disposal in general, remains one of the challenges that urban authorities and dwellers are grappling with in Uganda.

In many towns, the sewage systems have broken down spilling over dwelling places. In residential areas, the practice of releasing waste in nearby swamps has become the norm. This poses serious environmental and health risks. Schools accommodating big numbers of students have also been victims.

It is against this background that Makerere University in collaboration with University of Dar es Salaam through the BIO-EARN (East African Regional Network for Biotechnology and Bio-Policy) with funding from Sida-Sarec, constructed a wetland to treat wastewater generated by SEETA High School Mukono.

Constructed wetlands are artificial wastewater treatment systems consisting of shallow (usually less than 1 m deep) ponds or channels which are planted with wetland plants. This treatment system relies upon plants, bacteria, biological, physical and chemical processes to treat wastewater. The system has impervious clay or synthetic liners and is engineered to control water direction and retention in the system.

The school had already been given warnings by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to treat its wastewater before discharging it into the surrounding environment. To alleviate the problem scientists from Mak (Prof. Frank Kansiime; PI, Dr Charles Niwagaba; Engineer, and Omara, John; Research Assistant) and the University of Dar-es-salaam (UDSM) constructed a wetland, planted it with papyrus, monitored it and it is now fully functional.
The School contributed to the retrofitting of the plumbing system and construction of a new septic tank.

“The management of SEETA High School is not only happy with the wastewater treatment system but are also planning to spread this technology to sister campuses” said Prof. Frank Kansiime, the Deputy Principal College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

The project commenced in 2008. It cost 25,000 US Dollars. The school contributed 10,000 US Dollars to this.

 

These and many more innovations of how Makerere University has provided research relevant to National development needs were shared during the Vice Chancellor's 18th Media Briefing as held on Monday 6th June 2011. See Downloads for details 

 

Downloads 

Vice Chancellor's 18th Media Briefing: MS Word Version, PDF VersionPostscript Version

 

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