African communities benefit from Leicester students' sustainability projects

Posted by mjs76 at Oct 20, 2011 04:20 PM |
Briquettes and fluoride: undergraduates bring Leicester expertise to Kenya.

Our Centre for Interdisciplinary Science has posted an online report about a project in Africa which enabled undergraduate students to work with local communities on sustainability projects.

Earlier this year, students taking the Sustainable Livelihoods module as part of their degree travelled to Kenya’s Rift Valley with two projects. Amy Cook and Ashleigh Glossop tested fluoride levels in water supplies and found they often exceeded WHO guidelines; they successfully tested a simple technique for measuring fluoride level using animal bones.

Meanwhile Alicia Peel and Zoe Bailey investigated the creation of fuel briquettes from waste materials which can be used as an alternative to ecologically damaging charcoal. They worked with the Lake Naivasha Disabled Environmental Group who have stayed in touch and now have a business sideline making and selling briquettes to raise money for the group.

The Sustainable Livelihoods course is run by Emma Tebbs, Graduate Teaching Assistant, and Dr David Harper, Senior Lecturer in Ecology and Conservation Biology in our Department of Biology who has been conducted scientific research in East Africa for more than 25 years, focussing upon the sustainability of water resources.

Projects in previous years have included rainwater harvesting, honey production, fish farming and soil erosion studies. You can read a full, illustrated report on the 2011 projects on the Centre for Interdisciplinary Science's website.

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No-one could accuse our students of not getting their hands dirty...