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Small Grants Scheme

2002

In 2002, the small grants were funded by Carnegie Corporation and awarded to the following USHEPiA graduates.

  1. Dr Ignatius Matsheka
  2. Dr Ramadhan Mlinga
  3. Dr Wata Mpoloka
  4. Dr Henry Mulenga
  5. Dr Crispino Ochieng
  6. Dr John Ochora
  7. Dr Simon Onywere

Here are some of the Summarised Research Projects reports

Dr Ignatius Matsheka, University of Botswana

Topic: The isolation and identification of Campylobacter in Gaborone, Botswana

Nearly 300 Botswana children under 5 years old have been tested and the more easily identified strains of Campylobacter have been found. More sampling must be done, and further identification of strains must now take place. Definitive results may not be obtained, owing to the difficulties of identification. The results of this project are expected to give an indication of whether Campylobacter can be considered a primary pathogen on young children in Botswana.

Dr Henry Mulenga, University of Zambia

Topic: Application of climate information to economic activities related to agriculture, energy and health sectors in Zambia

Dr Mulenga spent the year acquiring climatological, hydrological, agricultural, malaria and energy data. Economics data has been difficult to acquire and more effort is required in obtaining the actual costs and losses in production in the agriculture and energy sectors. The objectives of the study are to (1) Quantify the climate-related economic vulnerability for agriculture, health and energy sectors on inter-annual variability; (2) Document the large-scale modes of climate variability and determine the relationship between Zambian rainfall and sea surface temperature anomalies and document the extreme climate anomalies over Zambia; (3) Develop seasonal rainfall prediction models for some areas in Zambia. Excellent progress has been made on the objectives over several inter-connected fields. The information will be of immediate value to Zambia.

Dr Crispino Ochieng, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (JKUAT)

Dr Ochieng applied for funding to attend the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) conference that took place in Philadelphia, USA, May 22 – 26 2002. This association brings together professionals from different fields of the built environment from across the world. The theme of the conference was Community: Evolution or Revolution. Dr Ochieng presented a paper entitled Spatial Revolutions in Newly Developed Residential Neighbourhoods to provide for Community Facilities in Development. The paper was selected as one of the only 15 to be published in the refereed journal produced by EDRA. Dr Ochieng has subsequently been approached about the possibility of making a teaching video based on his research.

Dr John Ochora, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology (JKUAT)

Topic: Effective domestication and utilization of Kenyan orchids and ex situ conservation. III. Establishment of conservation botanical garden for terrestrial Orchids

Dr Ochora submitted a project proposal for a much greater initiative than stipulated grant allocation would allow. However it was well received and he was awarded a Grant of $7,000. With this he has completed Phase I of the research. This was to (1) Establish a botanical garden of about half an acre. (2) Construct a greenhouse of 15’ x 10’. And (3) collect terrestrial and epiphytic orchids from different localities of Kenya, and adapt them to conditions in the greenhouse and botanical garden. Phases II and III of the project will be the in vitro propagation of three Kenyan orchids; and the rapid multiplication of selected Kenyan orchids. Success in this project will have great implications for the conservation of rapidly disappearing Kenyan orchids, as well as the production of these flowers for the extensive European market.

Dr Simon Onywere, Kenyatta University

Topic: Establishment of a remote sensing / GIS laboratory – geoinformation technology for environmental assessment.

This project was aimed at consolidating a GIS laboratory and to provide it with capacity at the department of Environmental Planning and Management (Jomo Kenyatta University). The purpose was to establish a GIS platform to train, collect, transform, interpret and analyse earth science and environmental data. Two computers and a laser jet printer were purchased and Kenyatta University provided three more computers and a HPE size plotter and HP scanner as a nucleus to set up the computer lab. Relevant software was also purchased and installed.

Thirteen Undergraduates students registered for the Remote sensing in environmental Planning and Management courses, and nine post graduates students registered for Computer Application and GIS courses. Two PhD students registered in the department. Two staff members in the department are pursuing research that leans heavily on the use of the GIS facility for research. The GIS research laboratory is operational to some level and is facilitating training and capacity building in the department and the University as a whole. The facility has given the department some capacity to train in practical oriented teaching and is affording the student the relevant skills and facility to tackle the various environment related research problems.

The GIS facility will also engage in acquisition, processing and interpretation of remote sensing and GIS data as a basis of information provision for social-economic development, management of natural resources, environmental monitoring and environmental impact assessment of various development projects.