SA joins solar clean water project

first_img4 December 2006The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is representing South Africa in an international, multi-partner project aiming to demonstrate that solar disinfection of drinking water is an effective intervention against waterborne diseases.The European Union (EU) recently awarded a €1.9-million research grant to the three-year programme, which will be carried out by nine research groups in Ireland, Kenya, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and Zimbabwe.According to the CSIR, the project could be of immeasurable benefit to “vulnerable communities in developing countries who normally do not have a reliable, safe water supply, as well as those communities who might find themselves exposed to natural or man-made disasters.”The project aims to help reduce the number of fatalities, especially among sub-Sahara African children under the age of five, caused by diarrhoeal diseases resulting from exposure to contaminated water.According to the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report 2006, diarrhoea is the second biggest killer of children worldwide, claiming the lives of around 1.8-million children a year, while 1.1-billion people in the world still have no regular access to clean water.Solar disinfection of drinking water is a low-tech, safe and affordable method to improve water quality. It involves placing contaminated water in transparent bottles which are then placed in direct sunshine for six hours.The method has been approved by the World Health Organisation, and is commended for its proven efficiency in the aftermath of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia in 2004.Over the next three years, the multidisciplinary research team will investigate the health benefits of using solar disinfected drinking water in developing countries, the factors that influence communities to adopt or reject the technique, whether the basic technique can be improved using simple technologies, and whether there are any major waterborne diseases that are not susceptible to it.“We want to confirm the considerable health benefits that can be derived, at no cost, from drinking solar disinfected water, and increase awareness of this method in our country and other countries where sunlight abounds,” said Martella du Preez, a senior CSIR researcher who coordinates the health impact studies in African countries.“After a series of laboratory and field trials, we are certain that it is an effective way of preventing many diseases such as cholera, dysentery or polio, and that it should be considered as an option alongside boiling, chlorination and other standard water treatment methods,” Du Preez said.As part of the agreement, CSIR researcher Eunice Ubomba-Jaswa has travelled to Ireland to take up a three-year PhD research position at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. Ubomba-Jaswa will spend 18 months in Ireland and England before moving to Spain to complete her experiments under real sun conditions.Other institutions participating in the study include the Kenyan International Community for the Relief of Suffering and Starvation, the Institute of Water and Sanitation Development in Zimbabwe, the universities of Ulster and Leicester in the UK, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, and Spain’s University of Santiago de Compostela and Plataforma Solar de Almeria.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Limpopo generates 62 400 new jobs

first_imgThousands of teachers have recently been appointed in Limpopo. (Image: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Phuti Mosomane Spokesperson for the Premier Limpopo Provincial Government +27 15 287 6083 +27 82 729 2783 RELATED ARTICLES • Roadwork to create 400 000 jobs • Limpopo’s new standards of success • Zuma: 2011 the year of job creation • South Africa to create 5-million new jobsBongani NkosiThe Limpopo Provincial Government recently announced that it created 62 400 jobs over the first quarter of the current financial year – a move made in response to the New Growth Path (NGP).The province made a commitment earlier in 2011 to create over 166 100 jobs within its spheres of government. It has described its efforts so far as an achievement.“Job creation is one of the key priorities that we have set for ourselves as government,” the province’s Premier Cassel Mathale said.“We are working full throttle to translate our commitment to make 2011 a year of job creation through meaningful economic transformation and inclusive growth into reality,” he added.Through the NGP, South Africa has the challenge to create no less than 5-million jobs and slash the unemployment rate by 10% over the next 10 years. The government has vowed to do its best to achieve the targets, and has called on the private sector to help.The jobs in Limpopo were created in various government departments. With 19 978 jobs, the Department of Roads and Transport led the drive. It was followed by Department of Education with 17 890 vacancies filled.Positions for nurses and doctors were filled across the province, with the Department of Health generating 8 860 jobs.Up to 2 566 vacancies were filled in the Social Development Department, while the public agriculture sector produced 1 536 jobs.The Department of Public Works created 581 jobs, while 939 people found employment in the Local Government and Housing Department.Fifteen jobs were filled in the province’s Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, and two in Safety, Security and Liaison.Mathale’s office created 143 new jobs.“Our government is committed to fight against poverty and unemployment in a quest to improve the livelihoods of the people of our province,” he said.The Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) has resulted in 17 800 new jobs in different sectors across the province.Figures indicate gainsAnnouncing new employment figures within departments helps the government prove it’s making progress in the campaign to produce jobs.A clear indication of gains made would only surface once departments in all spheres of government, ranging from local to provincial and national, make their figures public.News of Limpopo’s progress came a day after Statistics South Africa announced that the national unemployment rate jumped to 25.7% in the second quarter of 2011. It stood at 25% in the first quarter, so that means thousands of formal-sector jobs have been lost since the start of the year.According to Statistics South Africa, the number of unemployed people rose by 174 000 to 4 538-million people between April and June. The organisation said major job losses were recorded in the provinces of Gauteng, North West and the Eastern Cape, with a combined total of 81 000.Gains were experienced in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape with 71 000 and 21 000 new jobs respectively.Most jobs were lost in manufacturing and mining – the sectors which suffered the most during the global recession.last_img read more

Benjamin Logan AFNR students “soil your undies” soil test

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The Benjamin Logan AFNR students participated in an odd but helpful soil test these past two months. The students each got a pair of white cotton underwear and they buried them around the Benjamin Logan land lab and field. The students left the underwear in the ground for two months. The object of this test is to see how healthy the soil is by seeing how much of the underwear are left. The less of the underwear that are left the healthier the soil. This is because of the microbial activity. This past week the students dug up their underwear and were able to evaluate the health of the soil. The area by the creek had the most microbial activity. This project was found on modern farmer (https://modernfarmer.com/2018/07/soil-my-undies-challenge-has-farmers-burying-underwear-in-their-fields/). This is a good test that the students can do back at home on their own ground.last_img read more

Nargis raps Neetu over bikini shoot

first_imgNargis, who was last seen in the Akshay Kumar and John Abraham-starrer Garam Masala, says she would never wear something that makes her family uncomfortable.Taking a dig at her Garam Masala co-star Neetu Chandra ” who was recently in news for a hot bikini shoot ” Nargis says sporting a bikini is out of question for her.The actress goes on to say she has, in fact, missed out on “a whole lot of films” because she refused to do things which were ethically unacceptable to her.Is that the reason she has done a single film ” Pranali ” since her debut three years ago in Garam Masala? Talking about her career, Nargis says her third film, Morning Walk, is scheduled for release on July 10.The actress, however, says she is happy about the fact that Neetu went on to become a better known face and also tried the bikini.”I am really happy for her. She is a great person and actor and we have been good friends,” she says. “( But) the bikini is out of limits for me. I even refused to wear a bikini in Morning Walk , though the director had asked me to,” she adds.Courtesy: Mail Todaylast_img read more