Makerere Researchers in Drive for Innovative Solutions for Waste Management

By Mark Kawalya

A recent study conducted by the College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) at Makerere University explores various technologies to tackle waste challenges in Uganda. Carried out in collaboration with waste management sector partners the study includes technologies include anaerobic-aerobic digesters, sludge drying beds, constructed wetlands, and duckweed growing units.

The project led by Dr. Joseph Kyambadde from the Department of Biochemistry and Sports Science at Makerere University has made several recommendations for waste management.

They propose integrating waste-to-energy topics into curricula of programmes such as biochemistry, industrial chemistry, and environmental sciences at universities. This initiative aims to train scientists who can promote developed waste management technologies across various industries.

The researchers also emphasized the importance of investing in technologies that convert waste into beneficial by-products like biogas, bio-fertilizers, and protein additives. There is also a need to raise awareness about waste treatment technologies among stakeholders, including private-public players, agro-processing industries, businesses, government ministries/agencies, and development partners.

Funded by the Government of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF), the project’s overarching goal is to contribute to the mitigation of climate change, support environmental sustainability, and agricultural development. This is through integrated waste management systems. As part of the project, the research team has developed nutrient-rich fertilizer and animal feeds, facilitated biogas and electricity production, and supported various initiatives.

The project team presented their research findings to key stakeholders in the waste management sector and solicit feedback. During the seminar, Dr. Joseph Kyambadde highlighted the challenges of poor waste disposal in the country and emphasized the importance of investing in waste treatment technologies to mitigate associated risks and recover valuable by-products.

The project supported the construction of a wastewater treatment plant at Kampala City Abattoir, addressing environmental and health concerns previously associated with effluent discharge. Dr. Kyambadde expressed appreciation for government support and reiterated the project’s aim to improve waste disposal practices nationwide.

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