Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Summary Report from 2006 Conference

Summary Report from the 2nd International Conference on Appropriate Technology

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

July 12-15, 2006

Hosted by the National University of Science and Technology (NUST)


Sharing the Knowledge from Research and Practice

In Appropriate Technology with a Focus on Health-Related projects

The theme of our second international conference on ‘Appropriate Technology’ was designed to:

1) Facilitate the management, assessment, archiving and tracking of appropriate technology research and practical projects through the use of state of the art knowledge management practices

2) Focus on increasing the productivity and visibility of health related projects in a sustainable fashion, while being inclusive of all areas related to appropriate technology.


Underdeveloped countries throughout the world face the most serious health issues. However in Africa, more money is spent on servicing foreign debt than providing health care. This is a serious problem. Malaria, while practically eliminated in developed countries is a major cause of death in underdeveloped countries. Africa is suffering from a pandemic due to the spread of HIV/AIDS. A major multi-discipline investigation employing appropriate technology is needed to address these and other health issues. To be effective this process of technology implementation must be sustainable, and culturally and environmentally sensitive.

The international and local planning committees were organized in June 2005 and the international call for papers was issued in July 2005. Work, submitted by over 50 authors, was reviewed for consideration. All papers were subject to a double blind peer review process. The following 18 papers reflect the international standard of this conference. At this second conference we expanded the poster session. The abstracts of papers and posters presented are included in this summary report.

Local Planning Committee

S. Dube K. Madzima E. Mtewa M. Zami J.A. Nyati F.F. Moyo

E. Mwenje D. Maphosa T. M. Nyathi J. Gwamuri W. Garira

B. Muchabayiwa A.B. Nyoni

International Planning Committee

K. Murphy (USA) T. Dalgety (Guyana) J. Tharakan (USA) H. Carwell (USA

J. Trimble (USA) M. Kandawa-Schutz(Namibia) J. Fortunak (USA) L. Keyise (RSA)

Proceedings Editors

B. Muchabayiwa, National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe

J. Trimble, Howard University, Washington D.C., USA

Papers are organized in six broad categories: 1) Health related;

2) Knowledge Management; 3) Energy and Physics; 4) Water and Agriculture;

5) Environmental; and 6) Architecture and Small-scale industry.


Session: Health related


Production of Truly ‘Healthy’ Health Products, A. Chhetri, Rahman, and Islam


Modelling The Impact of HIV-1 Infection on The Pathogenesis of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, G. Magombedze, Garira, & Mwenje


Spirostachys Africana – The Latex Content, N. Munkombwe, Hughes, Leketo, & Dijogadifele


Atmospheric Pressure Ionisation-Mass Spectrometry (API-MS): A Tool for Food Security and an Answer to Various Medicinal Problems’, M. Nindi & T. Msagati

Session: Knowledge Management


The Role of Intention in Technology Development, M.R. Islam


The Role of Universities in Promoting Indigenous Knowledge Development, E. Jaya


Managing Knowledge in Public Health- TB programme in Sudan Case Study, G. Kadoda


Applying Historical Materialism to Promote Appropriate Technology, J. Trimble

Session: Energy and Physics


Investigating Light Propagation in Turbid Media by Evaluating Optical Properties of Phantom Tissues, J. Gwamuri


Wind Energy Resource Assessment, N. Maphosa


Design and Evaluation of a Low Wind Speed Self-starting Vertical Axis Wind Turbines for Stand-alone Applications, A. T. Zhuga

Session: Water and Agriculture


Incorporating a module to determine public health impacts in an integrated catchment: water allocation decision support tool, L. Katiyo


Construction and Optimisation of a Bone Char Cartridge for Removing Fluoride in Drinking Water, W. Mavura


Appropriate Technologies for Water Use and Conservation in Public Health, J. Tharakan

Session: Environmental


Community Based Waste Management in Urban Areas, A. Mubaiwa


A Sustainable, Community-based Response to Deforestation in Haiti, B. Stephenson

Session: Architecture and Small-scale industry


Towards Sustainable Incomes and Health for Communities: Practical Action’s experiences in Chimanimani District, A. Mugova and E. Mupunga


The Architecture of Sustainable Development and Ecological Living, S. Umenne

Production of Truly ‘Healthy’ Health Products

Arjun Bahadur Chhetri, Md. Safiur Rahman, and Md.Rafiqul Islam*

Faculty of Engineering, Dalhousie University, 1360 Barrington Street, Halifax, NS B3J 2X4, Canada

Phone: (902) 494 3980, Fax: (902) 494 6526 (direct)

*Corresponding author Email:Rafiqul.Islam@dal.ca


Recently it has been revealed that commercial ‘health’ products are the source of various diseases. For instance, most cosmetic products have formaldehyde, which is considered to be carcinogen. Similarly, bodymists often contain butane and other hydrocarbon products, the harmfulness of which is well documented. Soap making utilizes a numerous chemical additives which are toxic and have serious health implications. The use of synthetic colouring pigments also makes the products harmful. The list of harmful chemicals used in these products is very long and includes practically all commercially available ‘health’ products used for skin care, facials, sun screens and others. In this paper, we studied the harmful effects of commercially available health products, focusing on cleansing products, general cosmetics (e.g. lip balm, lipstick, mascara, perfumes) and coloring agents (hair dye, shoe polish, bleaching agents). This paper presents a series of ‘healthy’ health products such as natural soap, non toxic shoe polish and sunscreen.

Spirostachys Africana – The Latex Content

NM Munkombwe1, ZJ. Duri2, NA. Hughes3, T. Maswabi1, MB Leketo1

and OD. Dijogadifele1

1Chemistry Department, University of Botswana, Private Bag 00704, Gaborone, Botswana; 2Chemistry Department, University of Zimbabwe, MP 167, Harare, Zimbabwe; 3University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK


Spirostachys africana is an endemic species of East and Southern Africa and is variously known in vernacular languages [7, 9]. The wood preserves very well and has many commercial uses. Its latex has several medicinal uses [3] which, as expected, depend on location. The latex is also reported to be toxic. Biological activity studies have shown that the latex has genotoxic effects [8]. We have been interested in the phytochemical studies of the latex since 1991. In our studies, we have found that the latex only contain diterpenes with the beyerane skeleton. The compounds are closely related to each other and only differ in the oxidation pattern, especially in ring A. Positions 2, 3 and 4 are commonly oxidized to obtain diols, diketones and hydroxyketones. Demethylation at position 4 of the diketones leads to diosphenols. Cleavage between positions 2 and 3 leads to secobeyeranes which gives acids [5], lactones and lactols. It was a challenge to separate these compounds. They were separated using chromatographic techniques, wet chemistry, acetylation and methylation. Spectroscopic methods were used to identify the isolates and derivatives.

Atmospheric Pressure Ionisation-Mass Spectrometry: A Tool for Food Security Policing and a Solution to Various Medicinal Problems

Mathew Muzi Nindi and Titus A. M. Msagati

Department of Chemistry, University of Botswana, P. Bag 00704 Gaborone, Botswana

Nindimm@mopipi.ub.bw or Nindimm@yahoo.com


Modern agriculture and animal husbandry increasingly require utilisation of advanced technology as exemplified by the large-scale use of veterinary drugs worldwide. Antibiotics in agriculture and veterinary medicine were introduced in the 1950s with oxytetracycline and chlortetracyclines being the first feed additives. Currently these drugs together with b-lactams, aminoglycosides, aminocyclitols chloramphenicols, peptides, ionophores, and macrolides are widely used for agricultural purposes. Anabolic steroids, anthelmintics and sulfonamides are also popular antibiotics in animal husbandry. Drug administration to animals is usually aimed at treating or preventing the outbreak of animal diseases or promoting growth. Unfortunately, these drugs or their metabolites have a tendency of appearing as residues in edible products such as milk, eggs, animal tissue obtained from treated animals. Some of the drugs have been implicated as carcinogenic with others having adverse effects to humans even at low levels. The knowledge of the type of drugs and their metabolites at residual level is essential for the safety of the consumer. In order to control and monitor the levels of these drugs in edible products, the development of sensitive, selective and accurate analytical methods is fundamental. The first part of this presentation will focus on atmospheric pressure ionisation mass spectrometry as powerful analytical tool for policing of abuse of veterinary drugs in animal husbandry.

The second part of the presentation will demonstrate the importance of API-MS with respect to various medicinal problems. Coupling liquid chromatography with API-MS/MS is ideal for biomarker discovery, metabolite identification and human health research and drug development. The future of medicinal development is through proteomic research. With the availability of genomic and protein databases, mass spectrometry is fast becoming the preferred method of protein identification. It is hoped that our understanding of diseases would be improved through our understanding of protein of the diseased and normal cells.

Anti-malarial Therapies in Africa. Preferred Dosing Combinations and New Potentials for Drug Development

Joseph M. Fortunak1, Uford S. Inayng2, Frank Ohwoavworhua2, Olobayo Kune2

(1)Howard University, Washington, DC, (2)Nigerian Institute of Pharmaceutical R&D, Abuja, Nigeria


The three mainstays in use for effective control of malaria are: anti-malarial drugs for the treatment of infection, pesticides to control the spread of the malarial vector, and pesticide-treated mosquito netting to prevent infection. Most recommended drug regimens for the treatment of malaria are based on artemisinin combination therapy (ACT). This presentation describes our work in West Africa and at Howard University to increase access to malaria drugs in Africa. The drugs halofantrine and lumefantrine (benflumetol) are addressed in this presentation. Halofantrine is a drug originally launched by Glaxo SmithKline that is very potent and possesses a convenient dosing schedule (two days of dosing at a one-week interval). Halofantrine is, however, essentially unavailable because of cost and poses a concern for cardiovascular toxicity. We will present new chemistry utilizing modest technology that greatly reduces the cost of this drug and points a way towards addressing concerns over potential cardiotoxicity. Lumefantrine is also a synthetic target for new chemistry to reduce the cost of the active pharmaceutical ingredient.

The Role of Intention in Technology Development

M.R. Islam

Dep’t of Civil and Resource Engineering, Dalhousie University – Sexton Campus,

PO Box 1000, 1360 Barrington, Halifax NS Canada B3J 2X4, Tel. 902 494-3980 Fax 902 494-6526


If we follow the path of human intentions as a social form, how humans as individuals and collectives arrange their lives, we find that Intention is not a wish or an aspiration. Rather, it is a plan, a way to create a pathway. This paper posits that the overwhelmingly intention governing contemporary economic and social existence is the Establishment plan to control, contain, and sell off the whole world, again and again, and attempting to obliterate the natural world by transforming everything in it to products. This Intention has been imposed on all the peoples of the world. In this, the technology development has merely been a tool for sustaining status quo, which is aphenomenal in the context of nature, where everything is dynamic. This paper follows some of the dangerous pathways of contemporary attempts to control nature, and suggests another path for the world community.

The Role of University in Promoting Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Zimbabwe with Reference to Traditional Practices in Rural Areas

Edmund Jaya

School of Business Sciences and Management, Chinhoyi University of Technology

P. Bag 7724, Chinhoyi, Telephone Number: 067 22203-5, E-Mail: eddjaya@yahoo.com


This paper looks at the importance of Indigenous Knowledge Development (IKD) and the function of Universities, through relevant government ministries and other institutions of higher learning in promoting the role of culture, indigenous knowledge and cosmo-vision in agriculture and rural development. Traditional practices have not always been very effective to prevent over-exploitation of resources and environmental disaster. But it is within the framework of their own knowledge and experiences, that farmers take decisions and define their relationship with outside knowledge and agencies. Indigenous Knowledge Systems have been found to be dynamic, incorporating new elements and concepts as contacts with other people and new phenomena are established.

The paper analyses what is involved in Indigenous Knowledge Development and why it is important to look at indigenous methods of imparting knowledge, indigenous approaches to innovation and experimentation, indigenous games and indigenous specialists. Indigenous development is based mainly on locally available resources such as land, water, local knowledge; culture and the way people organize themselves. Indigenous development strives to optimize the dynamics of these resources, thus enhancing cultural diversity, human welfare and ecological stability.

Universities have a role to play in creating sustainable livelihood systems through Indigenous Knowledge Development. This can be done basing on social spiritual and natural realities as expressed in the cosmo visions or worldviews of the communities in Zimbabwe.

By virtue of their position in academia and society, the universities can create an enabling environment for Indigenous Knowledge Systems with sustainable livelihood systems. The paper looks at the need for supportive research policy, inter-scientific dialogue enhancement, joint learning and capacity building, deliberate stimulation of local and country wide regional economies, dealing with controversies and the traditional resources rights.

In conclusion, possible challenges and fundamental issues on approaches are highlighted coming up with activities to be utilised.

Managing Knowledge in Public Health

(TB programme in Sudan case study)

Gada Kadoda1[1], Hafiz Ibrahim1,

Mariam Abdelraheem2, Rofaida Abdrahman2 and Rana Mohamed2

gkadoda@gmail.com, hafizhussein@gmail.com, mariamsid_14@hotmail.com, rana_atta85@hotmail.com, roma_sunset@yahoo.com


This paper examines the use of a combined conceptual mapping and case-based reasoning approach as means to develop knowledge-based components for the tuberculosis surveillance and management programme in Sudan. The programme has a large and diverse group of stakeholders scattered throughout the country. The research involved capturing knowledge models of experienced programme staff and service users to preserve and use, as well as to identify recurring patterns in disease management failure and success. Standard knowledge elicitation methods like interviews and group discussions were used to identify key elements of the programme and understand the relationships among resources, activities, and the results it hopes to achieve. Preliminary concept maps were created and validated by our domain Experts. The activities of the next phases of the project consist of organising and facilitating group discussion sessions with participants from stakeholder groups on the areas proposed. This will be followed by the process of codifying and validating the maps. The scenarios told during group discussion can be examined to identify cases of good practice in management of organisation, diagnosis and treatment of disease. ICT (Information and Communication Technology) solutions, within budget constraints will be considered to find appropriate means to disseminate the knowledge gathered. The overall objective of this research is creating knowledge assets that can aid decision making and learning from experience in the organisation. However, just as political and resource commitment are essential for effective health policy and practice, commitment to a data-sharing culture by individuals in the organisation is essential to successful implementation of a knowledge management approach.

Applying Historical Materialism to Promote Appropriate Technology

John Trimble

Howard University, Systems and Computer Science Department, Washington DC 20059

Phone (202) 806-4822, fax (202) 806-4531, jtrimble@howard.edu


While most intellectuals have come to realize the bias in the presentation of history, anthropology, and other so-called social sciences, technologies based on ‘hard science’ have been broadly accepted as unbiased. In recent years many have come to realize that the most effective technology is context dependent. The purchase of a late-model tractor may be the most productive choice for a farmer in the USA, but prove too costly to purchase, maintain and repair for the same size farm in Zimbabwe.

Historical materialism has been used as a tool to provide political, economic and social analysis of the various modes of production but has focused on capitalism. Historical materialism provides an examination of the complementary and contradictory connection between the productive forces (labor power and means of production) and relations of production (technical relations and relations of economic control). The tension in this connection is heightened with the increase in the skills, knowledge and experience of the work force which is driven in large part by the advance in tools, machines, techniques and technologies that compose the means of production.

Our research thesis is that the tension in this historical connection between productive forces and relations of production is ultimately controlled by the choices of techniques and technologies. This effort uses historical materialism to analyze how technological development is being directed on a global scale to maintain power relations. Insights gained through applying historical materialism to recent developments in Africa point to the necessity to focus on understanding and applying appropriate technology on a continental-wide basis in Africa. Particular attention will be paid to information and knowledge technologies to prove the thesis of our research. An outline for university education to focus on national and global development through threading ‘appropriate technology’ across the curriculum will be presented.

Investigating Light Propagation In Turbid Media By Evaluating Optical Properties Of Phantom Tissues

Jephias Gwamuri1, Prof. Ashok V Gholap2, Dr Tahani S Mohamed Shartir3,

and Prof Paul K Bauh-Bassuah4

1National University of Science and technology, Dept. of Applied Physics, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Email: jgwamuri@nust.ac.zw

2Adis Ababa University, Dept. of Physics, Science Faculty (Arat Killo Campus), Adis Ababa, Ethiopia. Email: gholapav@yahoo.com

3University of Khartoum, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, P. O. Box 32, 13314, Khartoum, Sudan.

3Laser and Fibre Optics Centre, Dept of Physics, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana. Email: buahbassuh@hotmail.com


To study how light behaves inside a highly diffusing medium such as biological tissues; it is necessary to know the optical properties of the media. We investigated how light propagates inside turbid media by evaluating the optical properties of phantom tissues. The studies were performed, in vitro by measuring optical properties of the medium. The properties to be measured were the absorption coefficient, the scattering coefficient, and the asymmetry factor g. The phantom tissue which was evaluated was milk with the following results being obtained: = 3.5 x 10-1 mm-1,= 0.567 mm-1, = 25.57 mm-1, and g = 0.8803.


Norman Maphosa.

National university of Science and Technology, Department of Technical Teacher Education, NUST, Box AC 939, Ascot, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Tel: 263 9 282842 Ext 2355 nmaphosa@nust.ac.zw


Global warming and high cost of fossil fuels dictates the exploitation of alternative sources of energy such as wind. This paper presents a background to standard methods of wind energy resource assessment using a case study of Lynch Knoll and Beaufort Court wind farms in England. The Wind atlas analysis and applications Program software, WAsP, is used to assess wind energy potential and to predict wind climate from geostrophic winds of a given area. In this paper, meteorological data from Lyneham meteorological station was used to predict the wind resource and wind turbine energy production at Lynch Knoll, while data from Heathrow meteorological station was used for similar predictions at Beaufort Court. Data from both meteorological stations were used to draw up observed wind climates at the anemometer sites. Site contour maps were digitised using the WAsP Map Editor.

Observed wind climates, digitized contour maps, terrain roughness length, obstacle groups and their porosity were used as input to the WAsP model. In the Beaufort Court model, Vestas V29, 225 kW turbine was used while for Lynch Knoll, Vestas V39, 500 kW turbine was used in place of the Enercon 500 kW turbine which was not available in the WAsP model folder. WAsP predictions are highly influenced by terrain topography. Weibull probability distribution graphs of wind speed, power density and annual energy production were drawn. A directional wind rose for January 204 were drawn for each site. The predictions were close to the actual turbine output in both cases. Such validation of WAsP predictions means that WAsP can be used for wind resource assessment of any site. Other studies have shown poor predictions for rugged terrain with gradients greater than 0.3. Similar predictions can be carried out in Zimbabwe. Small 1kW wind turbines were installed in Temaruru and Vungu 2 in 1999 without wind resource assessment.

Design of Alternative Energy Systems: A Self-Starting Vertical Axis Wind Turbine for Stand-Alone Applications (charging batteries)

Andrew Tendai Zhuga1, Benson Munyaradzi2, and Clement Shonhiwa3

1. Department of Mechatronic Engineering, 2. Department of Production Engineering, 3. Department of Fuels and Energy; School of Engineering Sciences and Technology; Chinhoyi University of Technology,

P. Bag 7724, Chinhoyi, ZIMBABWE, E-mail: andrewtzhuga@cut.ac.zw


A general aerodynamic optimization method was used to improve the torque characteristics of a multi-blade vertical axis wind turbine. A decomposition, deformation, and reassembly method was developed to accommodate the variable geometry of the blade during the optimization process. The deformation of the grid was accomplished by a modified version of the Transfinite Interpolation (TFI) method. The method is first applied to a single blade of the turbine and yields a 27% improvement in overall torque. Further analyses were performed on a single blade with a spanwise slot and two-blade configuration with and without the slots and results indicated more than 10% further improvement in the overall torque with the slots in place.

Two small-scale multi-bladed (3-blades and 5-blades) prototype turbines were built and tested in the low speed wind speed at stream mean velocity of 2.5 m/sec, which correspond, to Reynolds numbers based on cord length of 1.225 X 105. The experiments were performed in free air stream on raised ground and in a closed room with a 3-speed stand fan. Results show that at the free stream mean velocity of 2.5 ms-1, the turbines were self-starting and the 5-blade turbine could turn a 6V rated bicycle dynamo generating 4.83V of electricity. At increased wind speeds, the turbines still produced electricity without damage. The power coefficients for the optimized blades extend to a tip speed ratio of 1.6.

Incorporating a module to determine public health impacts in an integrated catchment Water Allocation Decision Support Tool

1Loreen Katiyo, 2Oniward Svubure and 3Rebecca. A. Letcher

1,2Department of Irrigation and Water Engineering, Chinhoyi University of Technology, P. Bag 7724, Chinhoyi, Tel (067) 22203/4/5, E-mail:1lkatiyo@cut.ac.zw, 2osvub@yahoo.com

3Integrated Catchment Assessment and Management Centre, The Australian National University, Canberra, Email: rebecca.letcher@anu.edu.au


Zimbabwean policy advocates for integrated water resources management; with the Water Act of 1998 stating that allocation of water resources in a catchment should be on the basis of a Catchment Outline Plan (COP). As yet no catchment has the mandatory COP, in spite of efforts by the relevant institutions to produce the documents. There is therefore an urgent need to avail policy makers with tools to properly integrate issues when making decisions on water allocation in a river basin. The negative externalities associated with irrigation development, especially public health issues; also need to be explored since the tendency is for rural irrigators to use canal water for domestic purposes, thereby exposing themselves to water borne diseases. This paper presents a conceptual Water Allocation Decision support system (WAdss) model with a public health impacts module incorporated. This WADss will aid scenario analysis of the possible impacts and trade offs arising from different water allocation options in the Mupfure catchment. The Mupfure model further develops concepts, code and a framework originally developed at the Australian National University for the Namoi and Gwydir river catchments in Australia. It is built in Interactive Component Modelling Software (ICMS); a semi object-oriented software that enables linking of models and independent implementation of user interfaces. The framework is generic, allowing it to be transposed to different climatic regimes, policy options and agricultural production economies. Component models can be structured to capture location specific features. It also allows easy access into the source codes, including the capacity to ‘plug-and-play’ with different model formulations. Independently developed models can be easily coupled in. This paper discusses incorporation of a public health module which relates water quality and nutritional status of the community to explore public health impacts.

Defluoridation of Drinking Water

Ward J. Mavura1*, Francis T. Mwanyika1 and Glenda Wrensford2

1. Department of Chemistry, Egerton University, P.O. Box 356, NJORO, KENYA.

  1. University of Illinois, Chicago, USA.

* Corresponding author.


Due to the relatively high costs, the bulkiness and the inconveniences associated with the use of the batch defluoridation buckets sold by the Catholic Diocese of Nakuru (CDN) Water Program, an attempt has been made to construct a cartridge to be used for the same purpose. The cartridge packed with bone char material could be fixed onto a domestic faucet as a flow through defluoridizer. PVC cartridges of various sizes were made from a ¾ inch pipe. The efficiency of fluoride removal was determined for the following parameters: cartridge length, flow rate of water, compactness of bone char material and particle size with the aim of determining the optimum conditions for a good cartridge. It was found that the optimal conditions for the F- filter that gave the best results in removing of F- from water with minimum inconvenience were: particle size, 0.2 mm mean diameter; the flow rate, equal or less than 20 ml/minute; cartridge length, 10 cm filled with 20 g of bone char material.

Appropriate Technologies for Water Use and Conservation in

Public Health

John Tharakan

Department of Chemical Engineering, Howard University

2300 6th Street, NW, LKD 1009, Washington, D.C. 20059, USA

FAX(202)806-4635, E-mail: jtharakan@howard.edu


This paper focuses on the development and implementation of an appropriate technology for sourcing, collection, treatment, storage, conservation and management of water, focused on public health improvement. Potable water availability and sanitary treatment and disposal of wastes are two critical prerequisites for the improvement of public health, and for the development and maintenance of a viable and sustainable public health infrastructure. Public health development indices will only show improvement with diverse appropriate technology development and implementation for water treatment and availability, and maintenance of adequate water supplies. This paper discusses rainwater harvesting and water harvesting as appropriate water collection technologies, highlighting some of the best available technologies and discussing their application in, and pertinence to, productive and sustainable public health efforts.


Alexio Mubaiwa

Practical Action Southern Africa (formerly Intermediate Technology Development Group-ITDG)

No. 4 Ludlow Road, Newlands, P.O. Box 1744, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Telephone: +263 4 776 631-3; Fax: +263 4 788 157; Mobile: +263 91 380 880

Email: alexiom@practicalaction.org.zw, alexmub@yahoo.com


Throughout Zimbabwe, urban waste collection rates dropped from at least 80% (mid 1990s) to as low as 30% in some large cities and small towns [1]. Currently, more than 2.5 million tonnes of household and industrial wastes are produced per annum in urban areas and this continues to rise due to unprecedented urban growth rates and absence of waste minimization strategies. Areas worst affected are low-income residential areas and informal settlements, with some not receiving service at all.

The low waste collection levels have triggered widespread illegal open dumping and backyard incineration. This has created negative environmental impacts and increased the health risk of the residents. Open waste dumps are prime breeding sites for houseflies, rodents, mosquitoes and other vectors of communicable diseases such as fever, dysentery, diarrhea, cholera and malaria. Fumes from burning waste causes acute respiratory infections and the odours make the environment uninhabitable. The leachate from the dumpsite pollutes underground water, which is an important alternative water source for the residents. Loose papers and plastics blown by wind result in an aesthetic intrusion of the surrounding environment.

There are various waste management strategies and Practical Action has thus adopted an integrated waste management system to address the problem. The system has 3 ways in which waste is being properly managed in Chitungwiza, Epworth and Mbare. Through technological interventions waste is being converted into marketable products. There are micro-enterprises providing low cost waste management services. Through community health and hygiene extension education and training waste handling has improved and thus contributed to improved health and hygienic standards. One of the key success factors is the effective working partnerships formed between communities, local authorities and private sector. Although the project is still in its infancy, this paper shares the concept, steps followed, impacts and lessons drawn so far.

A Sustainable, Community-based Response to Deforestation in Haiti

With a Focus on its Water-Resource Systems

Brian Stephenson, PE, CCM

Department of Civil Engineering, Howard University, Washington, D.C. 20059, USA

Email: qodesh@verizon.net


This paper introduces the 1804 Memory Garden Reforestation Project currently under development in the town of Arcahaie, Haiti. The Garden is a privately funded response to the present environmental, sociological, and economic crisis in Haiti, considered the poorest country in the western hemisphere. When completed, the project will be an example of sustainable design and green architecture. It will utilize renewable energy sources; recycle wastewater for agricultural use; generate compost to replenish topsoil; use native plants to stabilize eroded slopes; demonstrate appropriate solutions to water collection, water storage, water treatment, and irrigation; and employ locally-available materials for building and pavement construction. Creating a botanical garden and reforestation center here will improve the ecological, educational, vocational, and economic life of the region. Two dimensions of the Garden’s planning are presented. The first is the engineering design solution for water collection, water treatment, water storage, and irrigation. Foundational to the design are the principles of sustainability, appropriateness, and local replicability. Secondly, the paper looks at the organization behind the Garden, in search of an approach which can be replicated in other developing nations. Specifically, the project combines the resources and resolve of Haitian expatriates in the United States with the commitment and direct accessibility of indigenous community leaders to address one of Haiti’s complex social and environmental problems in a sustainable manner.

A Study of Trace Metal Ions Enrichment in Aquatic Environments by

Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker’s yeast); a Bioremediation Strategy

Nelson Torto and C. Mahamadi

Department of Chemistry, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana

E-mail: torton@mopipi.ub.bw


A study of the trace metal enrichment of metal ions from various aquatic environment, under different condition of pH, biomass and modifier concentrations will be discussed. Sorption characteristics of baker’s yeast cells, characterised as Sacccharomyces cerevisiae evaluated for trace enrichment of Cd2+, Cr3+, Cr6+, Pb2+ and Zn2+ will be presented. The studies showed that treatment of yeast with 10-20 mM glucose concentration enhanced metal uptake with the exception of Cr6+, whose metal enrichment capacity decreased at a glucose concentration of 60 mM. Trace enrichment of metal ions from stream water, dam water, treated wastewater from sewage plant and wastewater from an electroplating plant achieved enrichment factors varying from 1-98, without pre-treatment of sample. Generally, enrichment time of 30 minutes gave an optimal metal uptake. The presence of Na+, K+ and Ca2+ was observed to suppress the uptake of Pb2+ by less than 5%, but suppressed the uptake of Zn2+ up to 25%.

Cd2+ adsorption kinetics were studied, under different initial conditions of metal concentration, buffer and water hardness. Cd2+ uptake increased with biomass dose exhibiting an equilibrium that was well described by the Langmuir adsorption model, suggesting monolayer coverage of the yeast cell wall. The uptake of cadmium was a rapid process, with over 60% sorption in the first 15 min, followed by a pseudo-second order adsorption with a maximum rate constant of 36.32 g/mg min. Sorption capacity increased with pH, with a maximum value of 0.7428 mg/g being recorded at pH 7.3. Three sorption stages were observed at the initial cadmium concentration of 2 mg/L (200 ml), 0.400g yeast, shaking rate of 150 rpm, thus suggesting involvement of at least three different functional groups in the adsorption process. The results of this study are important for optimizing trace metal enrichment conditions in aqueous environment.

The Architecture for Sustainable Development and Ecological Living

Sampson Ik Umenne

Faculty of Architecture and Quantity Surveying,National University of Science and Technology

P.O. Box AC 939, Ascot, Bulawayo. e-mail: umenne@nust.ac.zw ; sikumenne@yahoo.com


Many are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental problems facing our planet Earth, and hence our everyday healthy living. The cumulative negative impact of human development activities on the environment since the industrial revolution is both real and startling. In recent times, the feeling of hopelessness provoked by the persistent revelation of the imminent end-of-the-road for nature (humanity inclusive), has led to a frantic search by scientists, for the next possible habitable planet outside mother earth. On the other hand, environmentalists argue that a prodigal son’s return to that simple, old-fashioned, tested and true practice, which made strong and great, the homes of our ancestors, who built this good earth, and who, in building, left us our heritage, remains a sustainable option for Homo sapiens.

In this regard, this paper takes a critical look at one of man’s extensive “production line” – architecture, as a major depletory of the earth’s renewable resources since the early 20th Century [4]. It argues that the era of efficiency in the use of materials by the industrialists should be done with and advocates for a “zero waste” paradigm. The paper agrees with McDonough [6] on his calls for a second industrial revolution in design and architecture.

Citing the remarkable success achieved through the principles of eco-efficient green architecture, the paper recommends the imitation of nature’s efficient cradle-to-cradle life cycling of materials for the design and production of the sustainable and healthy built environment.

Towards Sustainable Incomes and Health for Communities: Practical Action’s experiences in Chimanimani District

Alex Mugova1, Ernest G Mupunga2,

1) Programme Team Leader, Markets and Livelihoods, 2) Regional Director,

Practical Action Southern Africa, 4 Ludlow Road, Highlands, Harare, Zimbabwe


Access to income and medicinal drugs are two key challenges that are faced by poor rural communities in Zimbabwe at present. In response, Practical Action has been working with rural communities in Chimanimani district over the last four years to address these challenges. On the income generating side, interventions have focused on assisting communities to identify, plan and implement activities that have potential to increase income. Activities that communities are currently working on include beekeeping and honey production and mushroom production. In response to the current scarcity and high cost of conventional drugs, effort has been directed towards production and use of herbs with known therapeutic value. Production of the herbs serves two purposes. First, communities sell the herbs and generate income. Second, the herbs are helping communities to cope with the impact of the HIV and AIDS pandemic.

This paper describes how Practical Action has been working with communities in Chimanimani district to test a number of technologies for the benefit of participating households. The paper summarises the results and impacts that have been created. Finally, it highlights four important lessons that have emerged from the work. It is hoped that understanding of these lessons will help to improve current and shape future interventions.


Design of a Shepherd Crook Bending Machine

Steadyman Chikumba

Department of industrial and manufacturing engineering, NUST, Email schikumba@nust.ac.zw

Paul Nhunzvi, Chinhoyi University, pnhunzvi@cut.ac.zw


The product, Shepherd Crook is made from 16mm deformed bar and is used to hold mine ceilings. These ceilings hold some rocks falling from tunnel roofs to prevent dangers from mine workers. The crook should be strong enough to be able to hold heavy loads of soils, stones and rocks. The product was previously being imported but now due to escalating costs, the shepherd crook heating and forging the product. This process of forging has serious side effects that weaken the crook material due to repeated changes in internal grain structures. Heat-treating the product could solve the problem but the costs so involved are too prohibitive. In addition to the above problems, the process of forging takes too much time and requires a lot of labor, a factor that is proving to be costly to the company. Setting up times is too long and as workers get tired and exposed to occupational hazards like poisonous fumes and manual labour causes production of rejects. This method no-longer suffices since the product demand is increasing day in day out. This paper discusses the design of a Shepherd Crook Bending machine to improve quality of the product and eliminating industrial ergonomics and safety hazards to the workers due to the current manufacturing method.

Stress Tolerance n Vigna Unguiculata (L. Walp)

1Claudius Marondedze, Farisai Chidzwondo and Idah Sithole-Niang

Biochemistry Department, University of Zimbabwe, P.O. Box MP167, Mt. Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe

1email: cmarondedze@science.uz.ac.zw


Cowpea, Vigna unguiculata, is the most important legume crop in the Savannah and Lowland tropics of Africa. It is a rich source of vegetable protein but has a drawback in its use as a baby weaning food due to the presence of flatulence causing factors that occur in the mature grain. These flatulence-causing factors might be due to the presence of raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFO) namely raffinose, starchyose and verbascose. Galactinol synthase (GS) catalyses the committed step in the biosynthesis of RFO. In an attempt to reduce these RFO, our laboratory has been interested in down regulating the activity of GS using Ribonucleic Acid Interference (RNAi). A 450 bp fragment of GS cDNA was cloned into pGEM-T Easy vector and sequenced. A BLAST search revealed high nucleotide sequence homology to pea and Arabidopsis GS. Arabidopsis has seven homologues of GS and three of these encode for three different groups of stress-related proteins that have been implicated with cold, salinity and drought stresses.

In an attempt to establish the presence of these seven homologues in cowpea, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed on total RNA isolated from differentially treated 9-leaf cowpea plants. Results from these experiments should serve three purposes: to identify (i) which homologues are induced by abiotic stresses, (ii) which developmental stage to use when isolating mRNA to construct a cDNA library, (iii) which homologue needs silencing by RNAi. Stress treatments revealed that at least three homologues were induced by drought, salinity and cold. The Atgols 1 and 2 homologues were induced by drought and salinity while the Atgols 3 homologue was induced by cold stress as observed for Arabidopsis.

The Construction of a Cfferdam for the Repair of a Dry Dock at

Guyana National Industrial Corporation, Guyana

1Tom Dalgety and 2Joshua Silwimba

1 Dalgety Processing Enterprises Ltd., 16 Princes Street, Newburg, Georgetown, Guyana

Tel: (592) 226-5159, Email: tdalgety@yahoo.com

2Guyana National Industrial Company Inc., Projects Department, 2-9 Lombard Street, Charlestown, Georgetown, Guyana, Email: joshuasilwimba@yahoo.com


Guyana is known as a land of many waters. The network of rivers, creeks, and lakes supports a tropical rain forest, intermediate savannahs, a range of agricultural products, a rich diversity of animals, and mining in “El Dorado”.

Through its rivers the populace and foreigners traverse from coast to interior and visa versa. Air transportation the unreliable, and very expensive relative to wages in Guyana. Roads are mainly along the coast of the country with one exception. Therefore, without boats, speedboats, and ships on the rivers economic development has suffocated.

In October 2005, the authors of this project were approached to build a cofferdam so as to facilitate the repairs to a dry dock where ships have been built since the 1950s. The design of the cofferdam was prepared by one of them. The other had the task of doing an appropriate construction using locally available wood and clay. The design of the cofferdam is attached.

Integrated Weed Management: A Possible Solution to Weed Problems in Zimbabwe

Svotwa 1, E., J. Jiyane2, and F. Ndangana3

  1. University of Technology, Agricultural Engineering Department, Box 7724, Chinhoyi..
  2. Chinhoyi University of Technology, Irrigation Engineering Department, Box 7724, Chinhoyi
  3. Department of Natural Resources, Chinhoyi.


Weed pressure is becoming more severe in New Farms due to over reliance on chemical and mechanical weed control methods. Increasing weed population is caused by lack of availability of herbicides on the market, skill in weed identification and correct matching of herbicide to weed. Availability of draught power makes mechanical method ineffective. In addition, over reliance on the two methods can damage soil structure and the environment. A safe, cheap and effective option for farmers could be integrating all methods available, ranging from biological, cultural, mechanical and finally chemicals in that order of preference. This ensures a limit to the introduction and spread of weeds, help the crop to compete with weeds and finally make it difficult for weds to adapt.. The overall benefits to the farmer will include cost minimisation, crop yield and quality improvement and safe environment for useful organism in the crop-soil ecosystem.

Project Dawn: Transfer of “Appropriate Skills Technology” from Britain to historically disadvantaged adults in South Africa

Liz Hodes

School of Education, Faculty of Humanities, University of Cape Town, South Africa

liz@law.co.za Email Address


With the change of Government in South Africa in 1994, the upliftment of previously disadvantaged and socially, vocationally or educationally deprived members of society was given high priority. The transfer of technical skills was recognised as one way to achieve this outcome. This research is an investigation of a collaborative upskilling programme, ‘Project African Dawn’ (PAD), launched in 2003, comprising the transfer of equine technical skills from Britain to South Africa. Equines are the main means of income generation for many underprivileged families in Cape Town.

PAD is funded by The International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) England, and hosted by the Cart Horse Protection Association (CHPA) Epping, Cape. It aims to educate 20 apprentices per annum in Farriery, Saddlery and Harnessry, to improve the overall health and welfare of working horses. A fit horse can work harder, thereby potentially generating an increased income for the owner/driver (the ‘Cartie’), leading to upliftment and a better standard of living.

The main participants in this research evaluation are a self-selected sample of 13 of the 27 currently graduated PAD apprentices who reported that the technical training they received had improved their lives in many ways. Additional to technical skills, this improvement included increased self-esteem; a sense of pride and achievement; greater self-knowledge and self-empowerment; greater respect from the carting community; a desire to share their knowledge with and/ or teach others; and an increased interest in further learning

Evaluation of the Potential of Using the Modified Jensen – Haise Model as an Irrigation Scheduling Technique in Zimbabwe

Jiyane Jabulani

Irrigation and Water Engineering Department, Chinhoyi University of Technology, P. Bag 7724, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe. (jabulanijiyane@yahoo.co.uk)


The majority of farmers in Zimbabwe do not practice any form of irrigation scheduling at all. The few that schedule their crops mainly use the US Bureau Class A Pan evaporimeter. Techniques such as the use of tensiometers, neutron probes, electrical resistance blocks, Time Domain Reflectrometry and also such methods as the Penman-Monteith still remain within the domain of researchers, and may be just a few commercial farmers. The accuracy of the pan evaporimeter is dependent upon several factors which the majority of farmers fail to take cognizance of. A need to develop or try another method which can be easier to use by farmers has long been outstanding. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of the modified Jensen-Haise (MJH) model calibrated to the local conditions of Banket area in Mashonaland West Province of Zimbabwe. The results showed that the daily evapotranspiration rates estimated using the MJH model were less fluctuating than those measured using the pan evaporimeter. The two methods gave monthly and annual values of the evapotranspiration rate that were comparable (standard estimation error of 7.98% and 6.19% respectively). According to these results the MJH model calibrated for local Banket area can be used successfully for irrigation scheduling and also for hydrological modeling and planning. The study also revealed that the MJH model is strongly sensitive to air temperature. During winter, the MJH model gave values that were lower than those measured from the pan evaporimeter and during summer when temperatures are high, the MJH model proportioned evapotranspiration rates which were generally higher than those from the pan evaporimeter.

Use of Wastewater for Irrigation: Public Health Concerns and Dangers to the Environment (A Case Study of Aisleby Farm)

Wonder Chikanya and Ellen Mangore

National University of Science and Technology, Department of Civil and Water Engineering

P O Box AC 939, Ascot, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe


This study evaluates the extent of chemical pollution due to wastewater irrigation on the groundwater in the vicinity of Aisleby and Good Hope farms in Bulawayo with special reference to the immediate and the future potential of the groundwater to augment public water supplies in Bulawayo. Historical data (1991-2001) on the changes in the chemical characteristics of the water from eleven boreholes obtained from the Criterion laboratory was analysed using the Analyse-it® statistical software and the Cox-Stuart statistical method. No trend could be established in the temporal trends in all the analysed parameters using both methods at 5% significance level. However, it was concluded that though wastewater irrigation was contributing to the deterioration of groundwater more factors like the hydro-geological setting of the aquifer, septic tank effluents and the land use outside the farms could also be playing a big role. Parameters like nitrates and fluorides were found to be above the drinking water limit guidelines [10] while others like chlorides and sodium were well above their taste thresholds explaining the unpalatability observed by most of the users. Moderately high Kendall Tau rank correlation coefficients were obtained for the correlation of the average concentration of most parameters with annual rainfall. Tests were carried out to reveal the current status of eight bore holes in the area and it was concluded that chlorides, calcium and fluorides were still above permissible limits. It was concluded that the water from the area is not suitable for public water supply.

Distance Learning in Sudan – The Potential and Challenges

Huida Mohammed Elnour, MPhil Student

Network and Information Technology Center , ALzaeim Alazhari University, Khartoum-Sudan

E.mail: huida_2000@hotmail.com


Distance learning is one of the results of revaluation of the ICT; it is any type of learning that is enhanced by online electronic communication using the latest information and telecommunication technology (ICT). Sudan has some way to go to benefit from developments in ICT and distance learning. As in many African countries, poor network infrastructure is a main challenge, in addition to lack of awareness and commitment of teachers and institutions. The objective of this research is to explore e-learning issues and open educational applications that are relevant to Sudanese and by and large African context. The project is in its first phase and the author is currently conducting a needs assessment survey of the networks infrastructure in Sudan and distance learning technologies as well as evaluation study on the use of distance education in two sectors, public health and education.

The aim is to investigate the needs of these two sectors and the methods by which we can enhance the process of making new information and knowledge accessible with as high speed as possible. Distance learning is potentially useful in developing countries setting to provide continuous education and training for people in the workforce or for adult education.

Adoption of Low Cost Drip Irrigation Systems to Small Scale Farmers

Lookout Ndlovu1 Cannasius Mpala2

1Department of Civil and Water Engineering., National University of Science and Tech., Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. lbndlovu@nust.ac.zw, 2LEAD Program, 8 Brown Crescent, North End Bulawayo


Agricultural production cannot be sustained by dry land farming alone due to unreliable and insufficient rainfall. Irrigation is seen as the answer to increased and sustained agricultural production. However water demand will increase due to population growth and development, hence the need to save the allocated irrigation water. Drip irrigation has the potential to conserve the scarce irrigation water as well as improving yields. Thus it can work as a tool for poverty alleviation and economic empowerment in rural areas. However the use of drip irrigation is low amongst small-scale holders because investment costs and inherent risks are very high. Low cost drip irrigation has been developed so that the poor small-scale holders can also benefit from use of this form of micro-irrigation. Use of low cost drip irrigation has been growing rapidly in Asian and some African countries. Their uptake in small-scale farmers in Zimbabwe has been slow. This is a major concern because small-scale farmers constitute a large proportion of the farming community in Zimbabwe.

The Adoption and Diffusion Theory, and the SPSS statistical package were used to identify factors affecting adoption and continued use of low cost drip irrigation systems in small-scale holders. Primary information was obtained from staff of Non Governmental Organizations, irrigation industry officials, government departments and farmers themselves.

Drip kits were found to be adaptable to this sub-sector with sufficient technical and financial support. Their main impact is water conservation and labour saving. Further more it is necessary for the farmers to have a reliable but limited water supply, access to markets, relevant cultural background and good information network within the community for higher adoption rates.

Success of low cost drip irrigation will result in water saving, increased yields and income, food security, employment creation and less dependence on food aid. Their adaptability poses a major challenge to innovators to develop low cost technologies, which will help empower the majority of Zimbabweans who cannot afford the conventional systems.

Mechanization: Panacea to Zimbabwe's Agricultural Productivity

1Vheremu W; 1Munyaradzi B and 2Jiyane J

wvheremu@cut.ac.zw, bmunyaradzi@cut.ac.zw, jabulanijiyane@yahoo.co.uk

1Department of Production Engineering and Technology, 2 Department of Irrigation and Water Engineering, Chinhoyi University of Technology, P. Bag 7724, Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe.


Agricultural mechanization being the scientific and systematic approach to the provision and use of tools, equipment and machinery to fulfill agricultural operations and enhance farm labour productivity is essential in Zimbabwe for the Land Reform Program to be a success. Agricultural mechanization has been the most significant factor in the development of production agriculture in the world in the 20th century. Fewer people than before are involved in production agriculture. Most agricultural operations are time-sensitive and crop yields suffer if such operations are not completed with due timeliness. However, the majority of beneficiaries of Land Reform Program in Zimbabwe are yet to acquire basic agricultural implements necessary for improving production in the agricultural sector. The objective of this paper is to point out the role and importance of agricultural mechanization as it applies to production agriculture in Zimbabwe.

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