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Engineering, Art & Tech

Guide to Sanitation Resource Recovery Products & Technologies

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The world is currently undergoing a paradigm shift towards a circular society in which resources are recovered and reused rather than discarded. The global population has surpassed seven billion people, and rapid urbanisation in many areas is putting a significant strain on our ability to provide basic services to all. The Sustainable Development Goals highlight the fact that millions still lack access to food, healthcare, water and sanitation. At the same time, it is increasingly evident that we are consuming the Earth’s resources and releasing waste into the environment in an unsustainable manner. The resulting effects on climate change, biodiversity loss and changing nutrient cycles threaten to over-step critical planetary boundaries. Crossing these boundaries has the potential to cause irreversible environmental change and to threaten the ability of humanity to develop and thrive. Sanitation systems manage carbon, nutrient and water flows, which are key resource flows that affect the planetary boundaries and thus should be recovered and recirculated instead of being released into the environment. Increasing resource recovery within our sanitation systems can play a critical role in shifting to a more sustainable society.

There are significant resources within excreta and wastewater fractions that can be recovered and turned into useful products. For example, the average person excretes 4.5 kg of nitrogen, 0.5 kg of phosphorus and 1.2 kg of potassium every year. These elements and other micronutrients found in excreta are critical for the fertilising and restoration of agricultural soils. The energy value of faeces is on average 4 115 kcal/kg of dry solids. This energy can be utilised as a renewable energy source. On top of this, there are large volumes of wastewater that can be captured, cleaned and reused. However, human excreta and wastewater contain pathogens and other undesired substances, risks that need to be managed in a reuse system. The growing demand for recycling needs to be complemented with a growing knowledge of how to do it safely.

The aim of this document is to provide an overview of the possibilities for resource recovery from sanitation and provide guidance on treatment processes to achieve safe products for reuse. The focus of this document is on resource recovery from the organic wastes managed in sanitation systems and, to a lesser extent, on the recovery of water and energy generation. Resource recovery sanitation systems are defined as systems that safely recycle excreta and organic waste while minimising the use of non-renewable resources such as water and chemicals. Safe recycling means that waste flows are managed so that physical, microbial and chemical risks are minimised. Thus, the recycled product should not pose any significant health threat or environmental impact when correctly used.

The specific objectives of this document are:

  1. To expose the user to a broad range of recovered sanitation products and innovative treatment technologies.
  2. To help the user to design functional solutions for resource recovery by illustrating the linkages between sanitation inputs, treatment technology and the recoverable products.
  3. To provide an overview of basic information regarding design aspects, operational requirements and health, safety and social considerations related to resource recovery technologies and products.
  4. Describe and fairly present technology-specific advantages and disadvantages.

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Engineering, Art & Tech

Integration of Building Information Modelling (BIM) into Construction Education; A stake holder engagement held.

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The Construction and Economics Department at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) is undertaking a study to explore the possibilities of mainstreaming Building Information Modelling (BIM) into the curricula.

A study supported by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (MaKRIF) is conducted by a team led by Dr. Pamela Achieng, lecturer in the Department of Construction Economics and Management at CEDAT.  The Research team is comprised of Ms. Wesonga Rachael, Mr.  Semanda Julius, Mr. Odongkara Billy Brian, Mr. Tom Mukasa and the Departmental Head, Dr. Nathan Kibwami.

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Engineering, Art & Tech

MTSIFA gets into partnership with the University of Bergen

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The Margaret Trowel School of Industrial and Art (MTSIFA) in the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) Makerere University has entered into a partnership with the University of Bergen (UIB), Faculty of Art, Music and Design to work towards internalizing and nurturing local indigenous knowledge.

The project will contribute to a multidisciplinary internationalization of higher education between global south and north with art, design, music, involving the two universities and independent enterprises linked to these disciplines.

Teams from the two Universities met at the College of Engineering to further discuss the implementation details and paid a courtesy call on the Deputy Principal, Dr. Venny Nakazibwe.

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Engineering, Art & Tech

Janet Goldner Fulbright Specialist Catalogue Department of Fine Art CEDAT Makerere University August 2022

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Janet Goldner

It was a pleasure to spend six weeks teaching in the Fine Art Department of Makerere University as a Fulbright Specialist. I want to thank Dr. Lilian Mary Nabulime and Mr. Edward Balaba for their vision for the project that brought me here, their faith in me, and their guidance during this successful program. I also enjoyed meeting and working with Ms. Fedelis Nabukenya, Assoc. Professor George Kyeyune, and Assoc. Professor Rose Kirumira. 

Dr. Nabulime’s and Mr. Balaba’s idea to focus on found and local materials as art materials is an excellent and timely one. As artists, this focus trains us to be sensitive to our daily surroundings. It guides us to look carefully at the beauty and utility of the “trash” that others discard. It becomes our job as artists to reclaim and repurpose it. The use of found materials as art materials is also important since more traditional art materials are expensive for any art student or artist for that matter. Finding these “gifts from the street” requires highly honed creative skills of observation and transformation. And the use of found materials has an important role in raising awareness about climate change. Use of found and local materials lends itself to examining social issues.  

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