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ACU: Call for Research Consultants

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The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) is seeking research consultants to support a mapping and analysis exercise of global research capacity strengthening activities to inform the development of a research capacity strengthening pillar of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s (FCDO) new Climate Adaptation and Resilience (CLARE) programme.

The main aim of this post is to contribute to a short-term study which helps to assess the current landscape of research capacity strengthening activities, including providers, programmes, tools and recipients across the African and Asian-Pacific regions. The consultants should be based in one of the following regions:

  • North Africa
  • West Africa
  • East and Southern Africa
  • South and Southeast Asia
  • South Pacific

The timeframe of the project is August – September 2022. The main responsibilities of the post will include:

  • The validation and assessment of a study framework
  • Desk-based research to apply the study framework
  • Conducting a minimum of 5 key informant interviews
  • The identification of existing gaps or deficiencies in capacity strengthening initiatives within their respective regions.

The candidate is expected to have a proven track record of participation in similar projects and good knowledge of the capacity-strengthening needs within the research and research-to-use setting, corresponding to their regional expertise.

For full details on this position and how to apply, please follow this link.
https://www.acu.ac.uk/get-involved/circle/call-for-research-consultants-climate-adaptation-and-resilience-clare-programme/

The application deadline is Monday, 25th of July, 12:00 UTC

If you have any questions, please email Evgenia Likhovtseva at: evgenia.likhovtseva@acu.ac.uk

Health

Mak Researchers Partner with Safe Bangle Technologies to Roll out a Real-Time Domestic Violence Reporting Bracelet

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A Woman putting on the Real-Time Domestic Violence Reporting Bracelet. Makerere University School of Public Health/Resilient Africa Network (MakSPH/RAN), Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Somero Uganda, Safe Bangle Technologies roll out of a real-time domestic violence reporting bracelet. Kampala Uganda, East Africa.

By Joseph Odoi

A Consortium of Researchers from Makerere University School of Public Health/Resilient Africa Network (MakSPH/RAN), Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Somero Uganda together with Safe Bangle Technologies have rolled out a real time domestic violence reporting bracelet.

    This roll out was made possible with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the PARTNERSHIPS FOR ENHANCED ENGAGEMENT IN RESEARCH (PEER) program and the National Academies of Sciences.

    Dr. Juliet Kiguli, the Principal Investigator from Makerere University, along with Dr. Roy Mayega, Deputy Chief of Party at RAN, and Dr. Agnes Nyabigambo, the study coordinator, initiated the PEER program to identify entry points for testing SafeBangle Technologies (a social enterprise based at Resilient Africa Network (RAN) with a mission to create a safer and more secure environment for women and children through innovative, affordable, and creative technology solutions to curb GBV in Africa.) wearable safety bracelet in the informal settlements. This decision stemmed from findings of increased intimate partner violence (IPV) and gender-based violence (GBV) in three informal settlements in Kampala, Uganda, following a longitudinal study, geospatial mapping, and interviews. The project, titled ‘The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Gender-Based Violence among Women and Girls in Informal Settlements in Kampala,’ highlighted the urgent need for affordable and immediate reporting mechanisms for violence.”

    ‘’While carrying out a study after the Covid-19 Pandemic, we identified gaps when it comes to reporting and response to Gender Based Violence (GBV) among women in informal settlements. Therefore, we used incorporated the SafeBangle intervention to solve the problem of lack of affordable and immediate reporting mechanisms for violence using a bracelet that reports violence in real time’’ explained Dr. Kiguli.

    Innovation details

    According to Saul Kabali and Messach Luminsa, the innovators behind SafeBangle from SafeBangle Technologies, hosted at the Resilient African Network Lab. ‘’The inspiration behind SafeBangle came from a deeply personal place. ‘’We heard countless stories of women who couldn’t call for help during moments of danger. We were deeply affected by the story of Aisha, a young woman in a rural village who was attacked while walking home alone at night. With no way to call for help, she felt helpless and vulnerable. This incident made us realize the critical need for immediate reporting alert tools, accessible to women like Aisha. We knew technology could play a crucial role and this incident awakened a strong desire in us to create a solution’’

    Saul Kabali, Executive Director and Chief Operations Lead at SafeBangle Technologies explaining how the bracelet works at 2023 Imara Girls Festival exhibition. Makerere University School of Public Health/Resilient Africa Network (MakSPH/RAN), Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Somero Uganda, Safe Bangle Technologies roll out of a real-time domestic violence reporting bracelet. Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
    Saul Kabali, Executive Director and Chief Operations Lead at SafeBangle Technologies explaining how the bracelet works at 2023 Imara Girls Festival exhibition.

    “While developing SafeBangle, we tested with the users in both rural and urban contexts. We piloted the innovation around Kampala with support from Digital Human Righs Lab and Naguru Youth Health Network as well as it in five districts of Karamoja region with support from Save the Children and Response Innovation Lab. Right now it has become handy in Kamapala‘s informal settlements. We envision a future where SafeBangle becomes a standard tool in the fight against GBV, ensuring every woman feels safe and secure as it has the potential to transform how we respond to GBV in Africa” added Kabali.

    HOW THE SAFEBANGLE TECHNOLOGY WORKS

    The SafeBangle is wearable technology similar to a smartwatch that sends an alarm by SMS to people chosen by a woman herself if she feels threatened.

    How the SafeBangle Real-time Domestic Violence Reporting Bracelet works.  Makerere University School of Public Health/Resilient Africa Network (MakSPH/RAN), Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Somero Uganda, Safe Bangle Technologies roll out of a real-time domestic violence reporting bracelet. Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
    How the SafeBangle Real-time Domestic Violence Reporting Bracelet works.

    In terms of the acceptability of the SafeBangle innovation as a solution to GBV among at-risk women in informal settlements Of the 72 adolescent girls and women who received the SafeBangle, 22 activated the reporting button, resulting in 19 receiving immediate and appropriate support, including counseling, police intervention, and health services.

    All adolescent girls and women who experienced GBV received a phone call from Somero Uganda to discuss the most appropriate intervention, including counseling, police cases being handled by the probation office, referral for health services, and post-exposure prophylaxis. All the GBV survivors received support and are still receiving continuous follow-up.

    Researchers conducted a survey among 644 girls and women in Kinawataka (Nakawa Division) and Bwaise (Kawempe Division) to gain insights into awareness and understanding of sexual and gender-based violence among adolescent girls and women in informal settlements. The survey measured socioeconomic factors, mental health symptoms, and exposure to GBV. Focus group interviews were conducted with a separate sample of women over 18 in the settlements to explore responses to GBV.

    Preliminary impact of SafeBangle on tracked survivors.  Makerere University School of Public Health/Resilient Africa Network (MakSPH/RAN), Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), Somero Uganda, Safe Bangle Technologies roll out of a real-time domestic violence reporting bracelet. Kampala Uganda, East Africa.
    Preliminary impact of SafeBangle on tracked survivors.

    A tabular representation of the key findings and lessons learned from your study on gender-based violence (GBV)

    Key FindingsLessons learned
    Prevalence of GBV.
    – Overall prevalence: 34.1% of women and girls reported experiencing GBV.
    – Among adolescents (15-19 years): Over 50% reported experiencing GBV.
    – The pandemic highlighted the need for accessible and comprehensive support services for GBV survivors.
    – Schools emerged as crucial safe spaces for girls, emphasizing their well-being during crises.
    – Economic independence proved crucial, enabling women to leave abusive environments.
    – Involving men and boys as allies in GBV prevention efforts is essential.
    Age-related trends– GBV prevalence tends to decrease with increasing age.
    Physical and health consequences.– Women and girls suffered physical violence, injuries, and deaths, primarily from domestic violence and unsafe abortions due to limited healthcare access.
    – GBV resulted in unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) like HIV/AIDS.
    Social and economic impact. .– GBV contributed to family breakups, strained marriages due to financial stress.
    – Economic hardships forced some women and girls into transactional sex, exposing them to further health risks and exploitation.
    – Pandemic-related job losses and economic constraints increased financial dependence on abusers, trapping women in violent situations.
    – School closures and increased household responsibilities limited women’s job opportunities and subjected them to sexual harassment.
    Psychological effects– Survivors experienced guilt, shame, anxiety, fear, and suicidal thoughts due to ongoing abuse.
    Long-term effects– Post-COVID-19, survivors faced disrupted education, early marriages, pregnancies, social stigma, and persistent mental health issues.
    A tabular representation of the key findings and lessons learned from your study on gender-based violence (GBV)

    Reproductive Health Consequences: GBV resulted in unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STIs) like HIV/AIDS.

    Family Breakdown: The rise in GBV led to family breakups as women fled abusive relationships. Marriages were strained due to increased financial stress.

    Transactional Sex for Survival: Desperate for basic needs due to job losses and economic hardship, some women and girls resorted to transactional sex, exposing them to further health risks and exploitation.

    One study participant stated, “The time of COVID-19 was so terrible for some of us. We in fact got a lot of diseases from it because you would want to get food and didn’t have money. That way you would be forced to get a man who would use you and pay.” – (FGD_Girls_19–24years_Kinawataka).

    Economic Effects: COVID-19 restrictions caused job losses and limited economic opportunities, particularly for women in the informal sector. This increased financial dependence on abusers and trapped women in violent situations.

    Limited Access to Employment: School closures and increased household chores limited women’s ability to seek employment, perpetuating gender inequality in the workforce. Some faced sexual harassment from potential employers.

    Psychological Effects: Survivors of GBV experienced guilt, shame, anxiety, fear, and even suicidal thoughts due to the constant threat and unpredictability of abuse.

    Post-COVID Effects: GBV survivors faced long-term consequences, including disrupted education, early marriage, early pregnancy, social stigma, and persistent mental health issues.

    Lessons learned

    The pandemic highlighted the need for accessible and comprehensive support services for survivors of GBV, the significance of schools as safe spaces for girls, and the need to prioritize their well-being during crises. Economic empowerment emerged as a significant protective factor for women and girls. Those with greater economic independence were better equipped to leave abusive environments and secure their safety and well-being, while dependent ones suffered abuses. Engaging men and boys as allies in the fight against GBV and involving them in prevention efforts can help promote positive behavior change and foster more equitable relationships.

    Recommendations

    To address GBV against women and girls, the researchers recommend the following moving forward;

    1. There is need to integrate technology-driven solutions like SafeBangle into national GBV prevention and response strategies. SafeBangle can be a valuable tool for policymakers as cases of violence that would have gone unreported will be brought to light and the would-be victims will be able to get immediate help from trusted relatives and friends.
    2. Provide economic opportunities and vocational training for women and girls to enhance their financial independence and reduce vulnerability to violence. There is therefore a need to introduce education and training programs that empower women and girls, by providing them with skills, resources, and opportunities to start their own ventures and to participate fully in community affairs.
    3. Strengthen and enforce existing laws and policies related to GBV, including laws against domestic violence, child marriage, and sexual assault without discrimination be it for law enforcers, leaders, and employers where such cases were suffocated. Ensure that perpetrators are held accountable through swift and fair legal processes that have no room for corruption.
    4. Establish and promote effective, accessible, and confidential reporting mechanisms for GBV incidents that provide confidence and can be trusted by survivors to enhance reporting of such incidences of GBV. Community Engagement and Involvement: Involve community leaders, religious leaders, and elders in discussions about GBV to promote gender equality, change social norms, and reinforce the message that violence against women and girls is unacceptable.
    5. Launch extensive public awareness campaigns to challenge harmful gender norms, report cases of GBV, raise awareness about the consequences of GBV, and promote positive behaviors and attitudes towards women and girls.
    6. Implement comprehensive sexuality education in schools and communities, educating young people about healthy relationships, consent, and reproductive rights to be able to make informed decisions about their own lives and well-being.
    7. Engage men and boys as allies in the fight against GBV, encouraging them to challenge harmful masculinity norms and behaviors. This will help minimize GBV because mostly they are the perpetrators. Strengthening Support for Survivors: Provide ongoing support and follow-up services for survivors of GBV mostly counselling services to aid their recovery and facilitate their reintegration into society.
    8. Provide ongoing support and follow-up services for survivors of GBV, mostly counseling services to aid their recovery and facilitate their reintegration into society.
    9. Provide avenues to seek free or subsidized services by survivors of GBV medical services and legal processes by survivors of GBV to enhance reporting of GBV cases, access to medical care, counseling, legal support, and other essential services.
    10. Encourage and support more research and innovations like SafeBangle to curb incidents of GBV.
    11. A comprehensive and inclusive approach is required. The efforts should involve government institutions, civil society organizations, community leaders, and individuals working together to address the root causes and provide support to survivors.
    12. Involve media in GBV prevention activities and for enhancing campaigns against GBV mostly on radio and TV.

    MORE ABOUT THE STUDY

    The core project team, included researchers at Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH), Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) led by Prof.  Julia Dickson-Gomez, SafeBangle Technologies, and Somero Uganda, a community-focused NGO, began the project by designing their research protocol and taking a CITI Program course on human subjects social/behavioral research. Team members also met with the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development (MGLSG) in support of the gender-based violence policy process, Ministry of Health and local government. They also established relationships with the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and Nakawa and Kawempe probation offices to support legal processes for the GBV survivors. SafeBangle Team also received an award from Defenders Protection Initiative.

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    Natural Sciences

    Mak Researchers develop Innovative Integrated Wetlands-bivalve system to Mitigate Effects of Pollution in Aquaculture farms in the Lake Victoria Basin

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    The Project team with the participants during the workshop at Colline Hotel Mukono on 26th June 2024. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP) Mak-RIF funded project Dissemination of the research findings, 26th June 2024, Colline Hotel Mukono.

    By Hasifa Kabejja & Dr. Robinson Odong

    Overview

    The fisheries sub-sector in Uganda is crucial, supporting over 5 million livelihoods and providing essential protein for up to 17 million people, with an average consumption of 10 kg per capita. Uganda’s population is projected to double in the next 27 years, prompting the National Development Plan III to aim for a significant increase in fish production, with aquaculture expected to contribute 1 million MT by 2030. The Fisheries and Aquaculture Act 2022 emphasizes adherence to National Environmental Management principles to achieve sustainable production systems.

    However, as aquaculture grows, the sector faces environmental challenges due to increased intensive production and on-farm waste, including nutrients from feed, uneaten feed, poor quality feeds, pseudofeces, escaped farmed fish, and residual chemicals. These pollutants pose risks such as habitat quality deterioration, biodiversity loss, eutrophication of waterways, and the emergence of drug-resistant pathogens.

    The Principal, CoNAS, Makerere University, Prof. Winston Tumps Ireeta officially opened the workshop. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP) Mak-RIF funded project Dissemination of the research findings, 26th June 2024, Colline Hotel Mukono.
    The Principal, CoNAS, Makerere University, Prof. Winston Tumps Ireeta officially opened the workshop.

    Mitigating the effects of environmental pollution from aquaculture

    Through a Project titled: Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP), researchers from Makerere University in collaboration with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) set out to assess the effects of aquaculture facilities and practices on Lake Victoria, its catchment rivers and wetlands. The team led by Dr Ronald Semyalo from the Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS) at Makerere University subsequently examined the effectiveness of innovative technologies, such as integrated wetland-bivalve systems, in mitigating these impacts. They also reviewed the application of national environment and aquaculture regulations in controlling environmental pollution. The study surveyed fish farms in three districts of Buikwe, Jinja, and Mukono within the Victoria Water Management Zone. Other project team members were: Dr Jerome Lugumira from NEMA, Dr Robinson Odong and Mr. Drake Ssempijja from ZEFS, Makerere University, and Ms. Ritah Namisango, Senior Public Relations Officer at Makerere. The Project was supported by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (MakRIF).

    Some of the participants at the workshop at Colline Hotel Mukono. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP) Mak-RIF funded project Dissemination of the research findings, 26th June 2024, Colline Hotel Mukono.
    Some of the participants at the workshop at Colline Hotel Mukono.

    During their engagement with different stakeholders in the fishing industry including the fish farmers from Jinja, Buikwe and Mukono, as well as experts from the Directorate of Water Resources at the Ministry of Water and Environment, NEMA, and the Directorate of Aquaculture Development at MAAF, the research team established that only 138 out of 380 registered fish farms were active, with 45.6% of the farms in Jinja, 35.5% in Mukono; and 18.8% in Buikwe. Overall, over 60% of the farms were inactive posing serious environmental threats.  

    The PI, Dr Ronald Semyalo presenting the project findings to stakeholders. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP) Mak-RIF funded project Dissemination of the research findings, 26th June 2024, Colline Hotel Mukono.
    The PI, Dr Ronald Semyalo presenting the project findings to stakeholders.

    Dissemination of the research findings

    On 26th June 2024, the project team held a workshop at Colline Hotel Mukono to disseminate the research finding to stakeholders who included fish farmers from Buikwe, Jinja and Mukono, District Fisheries Officers, as well as representatives from NEMA and MAAIF. In the presentations, the team highlighted the environmental impacts of aquaculture practices and the possibility of innovatively using nature-based, environmentally friendly innovations as a mitigation measure. The presentations covered farm characteristics, water and feed management practices, water quality assessments and waste management methods. The participants engaged in discussion on the implications of the results and shared their experiences and challenges in managing aquaculture operations.

    Dr Semyalo disseminating the research findings. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP) Mak-RIF funded project Dissemination of the research findings, 26th June 2024, Colline Hotel Mukono.
    Dr Semyalo disseminating the research findings.
    Mr. Geoffrey Dheyongera, Principal Fisheries Officer at MAAIF delivered a presentation on the state of capture fisheries and aquaculture in Uganda. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP) Mak-RIF funded project Dissemination of the research findings, 26th June 2024, Colline Hotel Mukono.
    Mr. Geoffrey Dheyongera, Principal Fisheries Officer at MAAIF delivered a presentation on the state of capture fisheries and aquaculture in Uganda.

    Key findings as disseminated by the PI

    Out of the 380 farms, 119 were assessed. Below are the key findings;

    1. Environmental Impact Assessment: It was established that 81% of the farmers had not conducted Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and Environmental audits. This, the researchers noted was one of the major causes of abandoned farms. 
    2. Farm Characteristics: The majority of farms used earthen ponds (66.9%) and were semi-intensive (63.6%), relying on manufactured feed and pond fertilization. Intensive farms (30.5%) exclusively used manufactured feeds, while extensive farms (4.2%) relied solely on pond fertilization.
    3. Fish Species: Nile tilapia was the top choice (96.1%) for monoculture farms, while tilapia and catfish were preferred for polyculture systems (46.9%). Intensive farms predominantly farmed Nile tilapia.
    4. Demographics: Most respondents were male (90.7%), with a median age of 35 years. The largest age group was 31 to 59 years (43.2%).
    5. Fish diseases: The research revealed a number of diseases affecting aquaculture including: lesions/wounds on the belly and cysts on the scales, skin lesions and cysts on the belly, popping eyes and white substance on fins, open skin wounds, open wounds on the head, skin lesions – greyish, swollen eyes, whitish and black patches on the skin on the pelvic fin, wounds on the head.
    6. Water Use: Fish farms primarily relied on spring water and lake water. Other sources, such as streams, wells, and rivers, were also utilized. In most cases, the water source was shared with the community. Only a small percentage of respondents acknowledged any known disease outbreaks on their farms. There was a strong association between the district in which the farm was located and the water source used. Majority of those using lake water were in Jinja District, while most of those using spring water were in Mukono District. Additionally, there was a significant association between the fish species cultured and the water source used. 
    7. Feed Management: A significant proportion of the farms heavily relied on factory-made feeds. These feeds were often used in combination with farm feed materials, such as maize bran, potato vines, yam leaves, and kitchen waste. A smaller number of farmers exclusively relied on farm-made feeds, while an even smaller percentage solely relied on pond fertilization. Manufactured feeds were used in various forms: powder and floating pellets, powder, crumble, and floating pellets, powder only, floating pellets only, and sinking pellets. The most prevalent method of feed delivery was feeding by response, while some farms also practiced feeding by ration.
    8. Waste Management: The findings indicated a concerning lack of treatment for aquaculture effluent, with majority of respondents (69%) releasing it directly into natural streams or wetlands. This highlights the need for improved environmental management practices.  Common waste sources included faecal matter and dead fish. Most farms incinerated or buried solid waste. 
    9. Water Quality: Measurements at the representative visited farms showed compliance with FAO optimal conditions for fish farms. The physicochemical parameters of the farms visited were in line with FAO optimal conditions for fish farms.
    10. Prevailing Regulatory System: A comprehensive gap analysis was conducted to supplement the findings from the survey. It aimed to identify weaknesses and areas for improvement in current policies and regulations governing aquaculture. It also evaluated the effectiveness of existing measures in addressing environmental pollution, waste management, and sustainable water use. This exercise provided a foundation for developing more robust and effective regulatory frameworks that support sustainable aquaculture practices, protect water resources, and enhance the overall environmental health of the Lake Victoria basin.
    Stakeholders at the MEEP dissemination workshop. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP) Mak-RIF funded project Dissemination of the research findings, 26th June 2024, Colline Hotel Mukono.
    Stakeholders at the MEEP dissemination workshop.

    Project output

    ***Innovative Integrated wetlands-bivalves system was developed to mitigate the impact of pollution emanating from aquaculture on the environment

    Effluent from poor aquaculture practices may contain uneaten feed residues and associated components, such as suspended solids, nutrient nitrogen and phosphorus and organic materials. If discharged without any form of treatment, such effluent contributes to excessive nutrient enrichment of water bodies, a phenomenon referred to as eutrophication. Eutrophic waters have diminished ecological value, for example are low in oxygen level and can lead to fish kills. Wetland plants, such as duckweeds can aid in cleansing of aquaculture effluent of excess pollutants, through various mechanisms. For example, the plant roots adsorb suspended solids, besides offering conducive attachment surfaces for beneficial microorganisms which perform various nutrient recycling roles. The plants also uptake excess nutrients, hence reducing their levels in water. Bivalves (Molluscs) are filter feeders, hence uptake and cleanse water of detrital or solid materials, hence augmenting the roles of the plants. The integration of wetlands-bivalves system offer synergistic roles in aquaculture effluent treatment. The plants and bivalves used in the treatment can in turn be removed and used for other beneficial purposes.

    Dr Jerome Lugumira from NEMA delivered a presentation on the policies regulating the sector and the gaps. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP) Mak-RIF funded project Dissemination of the research findings, 26th June 2024, Colline Hotel Mukono.
    Dr Jerome Lugumira from NEMA delivered a presentation on the policies regulating the sector and the gaps.

    Presentation on policy gaps

    During the dissemination workshop, Dr Jerome Lugumira, the Natural Resources Manager, Soils and Land Use at NEMA sensitized participants on the National Environment Act, 2019 with special emphasis on policy regulations for the aquaculture sector. He emphasized the need to acquire an EIA certificate before engaging in aquaculture. Highlighting the gaps in policy, Dr Lugumira noted that Schedule 4 of the National Environment Act, 2019 does not sufficiently guide the Fisheries sector; while the Physical Planning Act, 2010 is biased towards physical development planning, and the Water Act, 1997 provides for a waste discharge permit but no consideration of the extent of wastes discharged from fish farms of varying size and intensity is provided.

    Dr Lugumira sensitizing participants on the policies. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP) Mak-RIF funded project Dissemination of the research findings, 26th June 2024, Colline Hotel Mukono.
    Dr Lugumira sensitizing participants on the policies.

    He further noted that the National Environment (Wetlands, Riverbanks and Lakeshores Management) Regulations, 2000 do not guide on areas where aquaculture best fits, indicating that the application of the 25% wetland area beyond which one needs approval is vague.

    Additionally, he explained that the National Environment (Waste Management) Regulations, 2020 refer to fish waste generally and not whether it means waste from fish or all waste from fish farms, such as off-cuts, unwanted materials, and that the National Environment (Standards for Discharge of Effluent into Water or Land) Regulations, 2020 consider effluent discharge and not that released in-situ and that disposed directly into water via cages and into soil via land-based systems.

    Right-Left Dr Susan Luyiga, Dr Peter Akoll, and Ms. Ritah Namisango at the dissemination workshop. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP) Mak-RIF funded project Dissemination of the research findings, 26th June 2024, Colline Hotel Mukono.
    Right-Left Dr Susan Luyiga, Dr Peter Akoll, and Ms. Ritah Namisango at the dissemination workshop.

    Dr Lugumira called for the review of the National Environment (Wetlands, Riverbanks and Lakeshores Management) Regulations, 2000, by requiring the mandated Lead Agency (WMD) to issue approvals for access to wetlands, and appending guidance on wetlands and lake areas where aquaculture is suitable. He suggested that submissions seeking approval from NEMA should have all required approvals from MAAIF, WMD and DLGs. “The assessment process should be supported by a technical officer skilled in fisheries sciences and not generalists,” he noted.

    The Guest of Honour, Mr. Alio Andrew briefed participants on proper aquaculture management practices and called on Ugandans to invest in the fisheries sector. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP) Mak-RIF funded project Dissemination of the research findings, 26th June 2024, Colline Hotel Mukono.
    The Guest of Honour, Mr. Alio Andrew briefed participants on proper aquaculture management practices and called on Ugandans to invest in the fisheries sector.

    Overview on the state of capture fisheries and aquaculture in Uganda

    Sharing an overview on the state of capture fisheries and aquaculture in Uganda, Mr. Geoffrey Dheyongera, Principal Fisheries Officer at MAAIF, noted that the global decline/stagnation in capture fisheries stocks had increased demand for fish, calling for a boost in fish production through stock enhancement in water bodies and promotion of aquaculture. “There is need for huge investment in aquaculture. The Aquaculture Policy targets 1 million MT from aquaculture through establishment of aquaparks with intensive management activities.”

    One of the technologies developed by the project team to support the mitigation of the effects of aquaculture on the environment. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP) Mak-RIF funded project Dissemination of the research findings, 26th June 2024, Colline Hotel Mukono.
    One of the technologies developed by the project team to support the mitigation of the effects of aquaculture on the environment.

    Key concerns raised by the farmers

    During the focused group discussions, participants highlighted a number of factors undermining the growth of the aquaculture sector. These include;

    1. Ignorance about the laws/policy guidelines
    2. Low skills and lack of exposure in aquaculture management
    3. Low numbers of technical staff to guide the farmers
    4. Inexperienced technical staff
    5. Cheating by fish seed producers
    6. Expensive and poor quality feeds
    7. Fluctuating prices of fish
    8. Competition with capture fisheries/negative attitude towards farmed fish
    9. Increased degradation of the environment which affects water quality
    10. High interest rates on loans
    11. Farmers fear for exorbitant taxes
    Participants in group discussions on the factors undermining aquaculture. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP) Mak-RIF funded project Dissemination of the research findings, 26th June 2024, Colline Hotel Mukono.
    Participants in group discussions on the factors undermining aquaculture.

    Proposals for improvement

    1. Government should recruit technical staff to assist farmers
    2. Thorough training of extension staff
    3. Encourage value addition to farmed fish
    4. Integrate climate smart interventions in aquaculture
    5. Policies regulating the sector should be popularized
    6. Undertake periodical review of the existing policies
    7. Encourage multi-stakeholder involvement in the implementation of policies
    8. Invest in research responsive to fish and aquaculture sector needs
    9. Monitor quality of fish feeds to satisfy farmers’ needs and environmental safety
    10. Private hatchery operators must be supported by the responsible sector agencies to ensure quality seed. Likewise, fish seed must come from certified hatcheries.
    11. Inspection of farms should be strengthened
    12. Train farmers on proper aquaculture management practices
    13. Farmers should work in groups to reduce production costs, negotiate better prices for their products, access credit facilities and maximize profits
    Group discussions on aquaculture. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP) Mak-RIF funded project Dissemination of the research findings, 26th June 2024, Colline Hotel Mukono.
    Group discussions on aquaculture.

    Remarks by the Guest of Honour, Mukono District CAO, and the Principal, CoNAS

    In his remarks, the Guest of Honour, also Assistant Commissioner Aquaculture Management at MAAIF, Mr. Alio Andrew, guided the farmers on proper aquaculture practices, and encouraged Ugandans to invest in the fish sector. “The demand for fish has increased. Aquaculture remains a viable option,” he noted. He also raised the need to support private hatchery operators to produce quality seed, emphasizing that fish seed should only be bought from certified hatcheries. He highlighted the significance of biosecurity in aquaculture, and the need to collect appropriate data on the sector.

    Group discussions on aquaculture. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP) Mak-RIF funded project Dissemination of the research findings, 26th June 2024, Colline Hotel Mukono.
    Group discussions on aquaculture.

    The CAO Mukono District called for intensified training of farmers in aquaculture management practices. She advised the farmers to work in groups if they are to make reasonable profits.

    The Principal, College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS), Makerere University, Prof. Winston Tumps Ireeta, acknowledged the involvement of the community in research, and appreciated the fish farmers for actively participating in the project activities. He expressed gratitude to the Government of Uganda for the continued support towards research at Makerere University. Besides other initiatives geared towards improving research at Makerere, the Government is supporting over 700 research projects at Makerere through the Research and Innovations Fund. He also appreciated MAAIF and NEMA for the technical guidance extended towards the project.

    The Representative of the CAO Mukono District delivering her remarks. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP) Mak-RIF funded project Dissemination of the research findings, 26th June 2024, Colline Hotel Mukono.
    The Representative of the CAO Mukono District delivering her remarks.
    A participant presenting the views of his group on the factors undermining aquaculture. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP) Mak-RIF funded project Dissemination of the research findings, 26th June 2024, Colline Hotel Mukono.
    A participant presenting the views of his group on the factors undermining aquaculture.
    The Secretariat at the dissemination workshop. On the left is Ms. Catherine Nannyonga, the Project Administrator. Makerere University, Kampala Uganda, East Africa, Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences (ZEFS), College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) Mitigating the Effects of Environmental Pollution from aquaculture on freshwater resources in Lake Victoria Basin (MEEP) Mak-RIF funded project Dissemination of the research findings, 26th June 2024, Colline Hotel Mukono.
    The Secretariat at the dissemination workshop. On the left is Ms. Catherine Nannyonga, the Project Administrator.

    View on CoNAS

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    General

    Advert: Admission to PhD in Public Health Programme 2024/2025

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    The Academic Registrar, Makerere University invites applications from suitable candidates for admission to a Three Year Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health (By Coursework & Dissertation) with the following Tracks for the 2024/2025 Academic Year tenable in the College of Health Sciences:

    • Health Systems,
    • Epidemiology and Biostatistics,
    • Community Health and Behavioural Sciences,
    • Disease Control and
    • Environmental Health

    In addition to the general admission requirements of Makerere University, Applicants should possess the following qualifications:

    A master’s degree from a recognized and chartered university in health sciences e.g. Medicine (Human and Veterinary), Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Public Health, etc;

    OR

    A masters’ degree in Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences, or Laboratory Sciences;

    OR

    A masters’ degree in Social Sciences i.e. Social Work, Sociology, Economics, Statistics, Demography, Monitoring and Evaluation with at least three consecutive years’ working experience in a health related program.

    Candidates whose first language is not English or did not go through an education system with

    English as the medium of instruction will be required to prove that they have sufficient command of the English language to cope with post-graduate studies at Makerere University.

    Candidates for the Epidemiology and Biostatistics track should have undertaken both MPH 7103 Applied Biostatistics I and MPH 7203 Applied Biostatistics II, and any other course in statisticswith equivalent content, with a pass grade point of at least 3.0.

    Candidates for the Health Systems track should have had at least three consecutive years work in a health related program except holders of master’s in health sciences.

    Strictly observe the closing date of 31st May, 2024

    Contact the offices of the Dean, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences for any further information regarding the programme.

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