CIDRZ, in collaboration with the Sanitation and Hygiene Applied Research for Equity (SHARE) Consortium, has awarded three University of Zambia (UNZA) students £2,000 each to conduct research in response to the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) situation in Zambia. The trio are Mundia Nyambe, a Masters of Public Health student at the UNZA School of Medicine, and Changwe Mafuta and Samapimbi Munaye, both fifth-year students studying Civil Engineering at the same institution.
Speaking on behalf of CIDRZ and the SHARE Consortium, CIDRZ Deputy CEO, Dr Izukanji Sikazwe said, “I am proud of you for emerging successful in this award application. But what makes me even more proud is that you are young and upcoming researchers that have shown the passion to contribute to the body of scientific knowledge. I wish you luck in your various projects.”
Ms Nyambe’s research will be conducting “A comparative assessment of domestic water quality at sources and storage points at household level in selected peri-urban areas of Solwezi District in North Western province of Zambia.”Upon receiving the scholarship she remarked, “I am greatly humbled to have been awarded the CIDRZ/SHARE research and innovation scholarship. I am ready for this big and challenging task! I wish to bring out scientific based evidence that will help in policy formulation and management of public health challenges especially in the area of water supply and sanitation.”
Mr Mafuta’s research is about “Developing a lever eco-sanitary toilet that does not use water to flush faecal matter and uses solar energy to treat waste” and Mr Munaye’s research is on “Improving sanitation through recycling of plastic solid waste materials.” He noted “One of the biggest challenges students face is getting funding for the final year research projects. This burden has been taken away from me by the CIDRZ/SHARE project award. My hope is to see my innovation and research project contributing to resolving WASH challenges that Zambia is facing.”
Research works will help address gaps in WASH
“We are excited with these research topics because we know they will feed into some of the challenges. As with most areas of health and development, there are a number of gaps in our understanding of the magnitude and mechanisms of the impact of WASH interventions. Achieving a better understanding of these through rigorous research that harnesses a range of research methods and approaches will build stronger policy and programmes. We are sure that these innovations and research topics will help us achieve that objective,” added Dr Roma Chilengi, CIDRZ Chief Scientific Officer.
Competitive Selection Process
Calls for applications were sent out to the UNZA Schools of Medicine and Engineering. A total of thirteen applications were received and team of evaluators from CIDRZ and the UNZA reviewed the proposals and held interviews with each applicant.
CIDRZ/ SHARE Collaboration
The SHARE Consortium is under the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and has been collaborating with CIDRZ and supporting various WASH-related research programmes. Currently, SHARE is supporting: Creating Demand for Sanitation in Peri-Urban Areas which aims to determine how far a state-of-the-art approach to behaviour change can enhance demand for and acquisition of improved toilets in peri-urban Zambia; and Rotavirus Vaccine Seroconversion which is conducting a comprehensive evaluation of diarrhoea among immunized child populations in Zambia.