Lack of funds hinders technology transfer, says researcher

Friday November 10 2017

Ardhi University senior lecturer, Prof Nancy

Ardhi University senior lecturer, Prof Nancy Marobhe 

By Rosemary Mirondo @mwaikama

Dar es Salaam. Although research on crude seed extracts has led to positive results on local water purification methods, lack of funds prevents researchers from reaching rural areas, where access to clean water is still a big problem.

Ardhi University senior lecturer, Prof Nancy Marobhe, said this, when presenting her research findings on purification of water during an event to mark 40 years of research cooperation between Sweden and Tanzania.

In view of this, she said Ardhi University was partnering with government institutions, including the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (Costech), the department of water quality and the ministry of Water and Irrigation.

“We need partnership to promote improved water treatment technology using locally available plant seeds and ensure the technology impacts on large rural populations,” she said.

She noted that when she started research in 2008 to identify the impact of water scarcity on rural areas, she discovered that five villagers in Majowa Ward, Singida Rural, experienced water woes. Research findings showed that there was a water problem although there were water wells poorly managed and faced technical problems due to lack of skills.

“Due to such challenges the people preferred to fetch water from valleys and find own alternative sources of purifying water and we came up with a technology for purifying water through crude seed extracts, but it has not reached the majority of rural Tanzanians due to lack of funds,” she said.

She said extractives, including tree nuts and thorns, among others, destroyed bacteria and purified water at low costs.

Recently, World Bank country director for Tanzania, Malawi, Burundi and Somali Bella Bird said due to Tanzania’s rapidly expanding economy and population its water resources had lately declined to below 1,700 cubic metres per capita, the threshold level below, which is considered to be water stressed.