| Cycle 1 (2011 Deadline)
Addressing drinking water quality challenges in developing countries: case study of Lake Victoria Basin
PI: Shem Wandiga (University of Nairobi)
US Partner: Mark Shannon (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
Project Dates: May 2012 - April 2013
The goal of this project is to develop point of use water treatment technology that will be used to improve the quality of drinking water for the people living around the Kenya’s shore of Lake Victoria. The project will be carried out by University of Nairobi and Bondo University College academic staff and students in collaboration with the Center of Advanced Materials for the Purification of Water with Systems (WaterCAMPWS), science and technology center supported by the U.S. National Science. The project will offer transdisciplinary cooperative knowledge development to postgraduate students of the institutions involved, improve the knowledge base of communities regarding water quality processes, develop prototype water purification platforms, and bring the successful platform to market scale. This project will provide synergistic research activities between biologists, chemists, environmental engineers, geneticists, material scientists, mechanical engineers, virologists, social scientists, and local stakeholder communities. The expertise from WaterCAMPWS will be used to help utilize locally available materials and regional expertise to develop novel and sustainable point of use water purification systems.
Kenya has large deposits of titanium oxide (TiO2) that are now being mined for export. Small particle semiconducting TiO2 photocatalysts have been extensively studied due to their relatively high reactivity and stability, and this study will build upon the photocatalytic advances made by WaterCAMPWS to extend the use of TiO2 to address regionally specific waterborne chemical and microbial contaminants. Expected outcomes of the project are: 1) improved regional access to safe water; 2) new materials and markets for point of use water purification systems that leverage regionally abundant and underutilized deposits of TiO2 ore in Kenya; 3) improved research capacity in water disinfection and purification; and 5) increased coordination in addressing drinking water problems at scientific, policy and local communities.
Summary of Recent Activities
The data collected in the past months were presented in three papers at the Safe Global Water Summit held January 30 through February 1, 2013, at the Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology, Arusha, Tanzania. A total of 1500 samples distributed proportionately across the stratified Bondo District region were analyzed. Chiromo River water was used to test for total suspended solids (TSS) and total dissolved solids (TDS). TSS and TDS were determined both for raw water samples and for water passed through the ceramic filters that were identified to have better flow rates. The raw water was found to have an average value of 252.3 mg/L and 361.7 mg/L for TSS and TDS respectively. After passing the water samples through the filters, TSS was reduced to negligible amounts.