POLLUTION RESEARCH GROUP PARTNERS HONOURED WITH PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS

POLLUTION RESEARCH GROUP PARTNERS HONOURED WITH PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS

Two primary partners of UKZN’s Pollution Research Group (PRG) claimed top awards at the International Water Association (IWA) Development Congress held in Kuala Lumpur at the end of 2011.

Adopting the theme: “Pioneering Water Solutions in Urbanising Areas,” the congress focused on workable approaches for the global water sector in low and middle income countries.

German NGO, the Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA), received the IWA Development Solutions Award for its ‘innovations and contributions to technology and community facilitation that transform service delivery to low income urban settlements.’ The PRG’s other significant collaborator, eThekwini Water and Sanitation (EWS), also walked away with two awards for its innovations in, and contributions to, the development of sustainable sanitation.

The PRG enjoys a long and highly beneficial relationship with both BORDA and EWS and plays a key role in the success of their water and sanitation projects in the Durban area.

 In 2006, the PRG and EWS established a relationship with BORDA, which provides basic needs services in developing countries in Asia and Africa.  The collaboration centres on the sanitation needs of the eThekwini municipality and the ongoing research interests in the anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR) system - a sewage treatment system that requires no electricity and little maintenance.  Head of the PRG, Professor Chris Buckley, was appointed R&D Co-ordinator for the BORDA partner network.  

The Newlands-Mashu Permaculture Training Centre, located in Newlands East in Durban, is the site of a demonstration Decentralised Wastewater Treatment System (DEWATS) jointly designed, constructed and financed by BORDA and EWS.  This system treats sewage from more than 80 households and is being monitored by the PRG.  According to Buckley, BORDA and EWS ‘have provided more than R3.5 million in funding for research facilities for the Pollution Research Group at the Newlands-Mashu Permaculture Centre.’

The DEWATS project, which focuses on treating and recovering wastewater for use in urban agriculture and community initiatives, has provided the perfect opportunity for multidisciplinary collaboration.  author email : crookesv@ukzn.ac.za

TOP STUDENTS CHOOSE SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

TOP STUDENTS CHOOSE SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

UKZN’s College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science will soon be home to some of South Africa’s brightest young minds.

Many students have recognised the rewarding careers the sciences offer and as a result there has been intense competition for first year places at the College.

Two outstanding Durban students who will be welcomed this year are Ms Kimberleigh Govender and Mr Kashmeel Bisseru - both identified as top achievers in KwaZulu-Natal for the 2011 Matric examinations.

Bisseru, who completed his schooling at Durban High School, was the best mathematics student in the province. He will study Chemical Engineering at UKZN.

Bisseru received UKZN’s Faculty of Science and Agriculture award in Grade 11. Govender, of Kharwastan Secondary in Chatsworth, will pursue a degree in Applied Chemistry. She hopes this degree will lead to a career in forensic science. Govender was the top female student in KwaZulu-Natal for mathematics and physical science.


author email : nathooa@ukzn.ac.za

YOUNG RESEARCHER ATTRACTS INTERNATIONAL INTEREST

YOUNG RESEARCHER ATTRACTS INTERNATIONAL INTEREST

A doctoral student from the School of Chemistry and Physics, Mr Venkata Dasireddy, returned from the EUROPCAT X Conference held at the University of Glasgow in Scotland recently with new knowledge and skills to apply in his PhD research.

Dasireddy, who began his PhD at UKZN at the age of 21, is an international student from the Indian state of Andra Pradesh. His research focuses on finding cheaper and cleaner methods of alkene production from N-Octane (crude oil).

It is hoped this research will lead to reduced CO emissions and the conversion of alkenes into value added products, such as 1-Octane (petrol) and styrene, a compound used in the manufacture of rubber and plastic products.

His research has the potential to lead to advances in the petrochemical industry and make an environmental impact. Venkata’s research is currently being funded jointly by the NRF and THRiP, and is being supervised by Professor HB Friedrich and Dr S Singh.

Dasireddy was awarded a CATSA student travel grant to attend the Glascow conference where he conducted a poster presentation.

He says the found the conference, which focussed on discovering new faces in catalysis, to be a very memorable and valuable experience. Apart from possible collaboration with other researchers in the field, Dasireddy said he learned several new techniques and methodologies he could apply in various research projects at UKZN.

He found the discussions on catalyst characterisation techniques to be particularly useful and valuable. His work on the Oxidative dehydrogenation of N-Octane using vanadium supported hydroxyapatite drew interest from several conference delegates, particularly the techniques employed in his research as well as the microscopic imaging of catalysts used in his project.


author email : nathooa@ukzn.ac.za

UNSUNG HEROES EXHIBIT AT COP17

UNSUNG HEROES EXHIBIT AT COP17

Professor Vashanthie Sewpaul of Social Work and Community Development teamed up with Professor Lena Dominelli of Durham University in England to represent the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) at the recent COP17 event in Durban.  

Dominelli Heads up the Climate Change Committee of the IASSW and Sewpaul is the President of the Association of Schools of Social Work in Africa (ASSWA).  Together they mounted an exhibit titled: “Unsung Heroes: Social Workers Empowering Individuals and Promoting Community Resilience,” which highlighted the many roles social workers play during climate change disasters in supporting people to survive the aftermath.

Both Professors also spoke at a side event that took place at UKZN during the congress.  Dominelli’s presentation was titled: “Infrastructures Matter: Climate Change, Social Capital and Interdisciplinary Approaches to Health and Social Care Provisions,” while Sewpaul focused on: Neoliberalism and Climate Change.

The themes running through both activities were those of activating climate justice for poor, marginalised and disenfranchised people in societies where a few corporations determine the quality of life and conditions of work and non-work for the majority.  Dominelli argued there was a need to move away from models of over-industrialisation and over-urbanisation to develop economic models which placed peoples’ needs and care for the environment before profits benefiting the minority.


author email : crookesv@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN’S POCKET-ROCKET PRO IS UP AND RUNNING!

UKZN’S POCKET-ROCKET PRO IS UP AND RUNNING!

Ms Vicky Crookes, Public Relations Manager for Humanities, continues to make her mark on the road-running circuit both in South Africa and the USA.

Based on her performances she has now been selected for the KwaZulu-Natal team to compete in the South African Marathon Championships in George on 5 February - a well-deserved reward for many years of pounding Pietermaritzburg’s pavements.

Last year she won the veteran’s section of the Pietermaritzburg Marathon and also completed her 13th Comrades Marathon.

In November, she won her age group section in both the Tom Walker Memorial Half Marathon in Gainesville, Florida and the Space-Coast Marathon near Cape Canaveral, also in Florida where she was thrilled to receive her prize from running icon and author, Kathrine Switzer.

Switzer pioneered the women’s running movement and in 1967 was the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon, infuriating the all-male race directors who tried to eject her from the race.


author email : hay@ukzn.ac.za

UBANJELWE E-UKZN UMNCINTISWANO WOSOSAYENSI ABANCANE BASEMHLABENI JIKELELE

UBANJELWE E-UKZN UMNCINTISWANO WOSOSAYENSI ABANCANE BASEMHLABENI JIKELELE

Umncintiswano obizwa nge-International Junior Science Olympiad obuhanjelwe ngabafundi abangu-250 abavela emazweni angu-40 ububanjelwe esikhungweni saseWestville e-UKZN.

Abafundi bebehlolwa ulwazi ngezivivinyo ezifundweni zePhysics, iBiology nezeChemistry. Izivivinyo lapho abafundi bebekhomisa izihambeli ngabakufundile bezibanjelwe emagumbini ezesayensi kwabuye kwaba nombukiso wezeMathematics ebiyenziwa uDkt Megan Govender.

Lomcimbi uvulele ithuba lezihambeli zangaphandle ukuba zizbonele i-UKZN.

Click here for english version



author email : nathooa@ukzn.ac.za

LAUNCH OF MUSLIM TRADERS IN NATAL

LAUNCH OF <em>MUSLIM TRADERS IN NATAL</em>

The book, Muslim Traders in Natal - the First 100 Years by the Interim Director of UKZN’s Centre for Islamic Studies, Emeritus Professor Suleman Dangor, was recently launched at a special function organized by the Minara Chamber of Commerce.

The book focuses on the traders who established their own businesses or inherited family businesses and maintained, extended or transformed them (1860 – 1960). It celebrates their achievements and contributions to the wider Natal community and the South African nation. More than 400 guests attended the event.

Former political activist, Robben Island Prisoner and ANC MP, Ahmed Kathrada, pointed out in his address at the launch that no country could rely solely on its government to alleviate and improve the lives and social conditions of the less fortunate in society. It was therefore incumbent on religious bodies and civil society organizations - such as Minara - to make substantial and meaningful contributions to ensure a better life for all.

The Minara Chamber of Commerce commissioned Muslim Traders in Natal in 2010 as part of the 150 years celebration of the arrival in South Africa of Indentured labourers from India. The book aims to document the history of Muslim business families and their contributions to the history of KwaZulu-Natal. These families, apart from their business priorities, also contributed substantially to the community through their philanthropy and good ethical practice, making a difference in spheres such as education, healthcare, infrastructure development, poverty alleviation and religious institutions.

The first in a planned series of publications on Muslim pioneers in South Africa, the book concentrates on Muslim pioneers in business who began arriving in South Africa as “passenger Indians” in 1860. The traders originated primarily from the Gujarat region in India. Some first traded in Mauritius before relocating to Natal where they were soon the envy of British traders and often victims of first colonial and later apartheid laws aimed at limiting and restricting their rights to commerce and trade. The book contains a comprehensive list of traders and traces individuals and families with the same surname, dates and places of birth and actual years of arrival in South Africa.

Ther
author email : SMITJ@ukzn.ac.za

LAW STUDENTS AT ETHIOPIAN SYMPOSIUM

LAW STUDENTS AT ETHIOPIAN SYMPOSIUM

Two post graduate Law students, Mr Christian Kabati and Mr Oyeyemi Oke, recently presented at a symposium, The African Union: The First Ten Years, organised in Ethiopia by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS).

In their paper titled: “The Impact of African Court of Justice on the promotion of Human Rights, the students assessed the situation of Human Rights in Africa and the role of the AU’s judicial mechanism in the protection and promotion of human rights on the African continent during the last 10 years.

They concluded that human rights was one of  the pillars or conditions for Africa’s development and thus African leaders and policy makers needed to support and promote human rights and avoid impunity on the Africa continent.

The paper has been accepted as a contribution in the ISS monograph titled: African Union: The First Ten Years, due to be published early this year.


author email : 210553578@ukzn.ac.za

UKZN ASSISTS YOUNGSTERS TO GET BURSARIES FOR SENIOR SCHOOL STUDY

UKZN ASSISTS YOUNGSTERS TO GET BURSARIES FOR SENIOR SCHOOL STUDY

UKZN’s Community Development Programme in partnership with the Turquoise Harmony Institute, a Turkish based NGO, awarded academic bursaries to 16 Grade 7 Glenmore Primary School learners to study at Star College in Durban.

Star College organized a maths and science test at Glenmore Primary identifying 16 pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to study at the college.

Many of the youngsters live in Kenneth Gardens, a low income housing estate in Umbilo which is one of the largest of its kind in Durban. The Community Development Programme at UKZN is running a series of research and outreach projects at Kenneth Gardens.

The learners have been given full bursaries, with an option of boarding, to further their studies at Star College.

Mr Atilla Dag, Director of Turquoise Harmony Institute, said the Institute supported educational and community development projects to curb problems of poverty, ignorance and disunity, saying the only way to fight these problems was for people to get educated. Each bursary handed out was worth R30 000.

Professor Monique Marks, Head of the UKZN Kenneth Gardens Intervention Project, said the community outreach project had been started after research revealed the area was characterised by a range of social problems including unemployment, drug abuse, high-school drop-outs, crime, domestic violence and insufficient health care services. In addition, not a single research report had been written about Kenneth Gardens.

Kenneth Gardens forms part of an extensive network of cluster housing schemes developed by the apartheid government. Kenneth Gardens was established, then, as part of government’s protectionist strategy to provide safe and affordable housing to poor and working class whites.

More than 1 500 people are accommodated in an estimated 286 units in the complex which i
author email : shabangus@ukn.ac.za

UKZN REPRESENTED AT IUFRO EUCALYPTUS CONFERENCE IN BRAZIL

UKZN REPRESENTED AT IUFRO EUCALYPTUS CONFERENCE IN BRAZIL

Master of Science student, Matabaro Ziganira, was among students invited to present research papers at the 2011 conference of the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO) in Brazil.

Ziganira’s research paper was in the field of the improvement and culture of eucalyptus.

This meeting is the premier international forum for the presentation of cutting edge research in eucalyptus breeding and forestry. As in previous IUFRO Eucalyptus meetings (Bordeaux 1990, Hobart 1995, Salvador 1997, Valdivia 2001, Aveiro 2004 and Durban 2007), the forum provided a great opportunity for scientists, foresters and plantation managers to debate ways to improve the understanding and management of eucalyptus forests.

Eucalyptus constitutes about 15 percent of global plantations and is being grown for a wide range of end-products for industrial and domestic uses. Currently, eucalyptus plantations are most often established replacing pasture or crops in tropical and subtropical areas, being a significant component of the carbon and water balances of these landscapes, with ecological, economical and social interfaces.

The conference provided an exceptional mix of science, social activities and field exploration. with top international scientists sharing their latest results and vision on a selection of appropriate genotypes and site management practices.

During the conference, Ziganira presented a paper from his Master thesis titled: “Influence of stock plants’ management on yield and subsequent rooting of cuttings of cold-tolerant Eucalyptus grandis x nitens (GN) clones.”

Cold-tolerant GN clones are currently propagated under commercial nursery settings and have shown to be suitable at certain sites in KwaZulu-Natal. This study has also shown that GN clones require different management including spacing density of stock plants for optimum rooting of cuttings. These proposed recommendations are currently being implem
author email : 204505850@ukzn.ac.za