Equipment and health and safety modifications required for developing the capacity to support grantees field-testing in Durban, South Africa (UKZN)

  • muench
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Equipment and health and safety modifications required for developing the capacity to support grantees field-testing in Durban, South Africa (UKZN)

Note by moderator: this post used to be in this thread of a related project by UKZN:
forum.susana.org/forum/categories/105-pr...se-2-2013-2015#12823


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Dear Tina,

Thanks for making this post. I have a question about your presentation on:
Development of standard operating procedures for faecal sludge laboratory analyses: Tina Velkushanova, Merlien Reddy, Pollution Research Group, University of KwaZulu-Natal
www.susana.org/images/documents/07-cap-d...WS4/Velkushanova.pdf

This looks really interesting, but it wasn't clear to me what the timeline for developing these standard operating procedures are? When do you plan to heave them ready by? Once they are ready, how will they be made available to everyone? Will there be some sort of peer-review process for them or a testing scheme amongst different laboratories to see if they really work well?




About your new grant, congratulations on that one! I see it's another big one (1.6 million USD):
www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quic...s/2014/11/OPP1119939

I suggest we start a separate thread for it so that full details of the grant, and then progress over the next two years can easily be followed on the forum. I will e-mail you about that. Thanks.

Regards,
Elisabeth

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  • joeturner
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Re: Data acquisition and field support for sanitation projects (UKZN, South Africa)

I was also wondering whether part of your remit might be to develop standard operating procedures for monitoring pathogens in dispersed systems. Any chance of coming up with something (indicator maybe?) that can be usefully and rapidly measured in the field?
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  • TinaVelkushanova
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Re: Equipment and health and safety modifications required for developing the capacity to support grantees field-testing in Durban, SA (UKZN, South Africa)

Dear Elisabeth

apologies for the late reply. Actually the SOP manual has been developed about two years ago and we are currently working on the next revision as a lot more work has been done since the latest version
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We have shared the Pollution Research Group FS SOP manual on request with a lot of our partners and are happy to provide guidance and support if more information is required.

Soon you will be able to download the next version of our FS SOP manual with additional FS analytical procedures from our website: prg.ukzn.ac.za/laboratory-facilities

There are currently negotiations regarding the further peer-review and publication of the FS SOP manual. Any advice on this matter will be appreciated.


Best regards
Tina

Dr. Konstantina Velkushanova
Research Fellow
Pollution Research Group
School of Chemical Engineering
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Durban,South Africa

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  • TinaVelkushanova
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Re: Data acquisition and field support for sanitation projects (UKZN, South Africa)

Apologies for the late reply. Please could you provide a bit more information on the conditions you would like to apply these indicators to and what kind of pathogens (E.Coli or other) you would like to determine. We have an SOP for determination of for Helminths in faecal sludge (see here: www.susana.org/en/resources/library/details/2487 ) but we have not developed one for pathogens (bacteria, viruses) content up to date although we are working on that.

Hope this brings some clarity and please do not hesitate to ask should you need more information.

Best regards
Tina

Dr. Konstantina Velkushanova
Research Fellow
Pollution Research Group
School of Chemical Engineering
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Durban,South Africa
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  • ChrisBuckley
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Re: Equipment and health and safety modifications required for developing the capacity to support grantees field-testing in Durban, South Africa (UKZN)

Please find below more information about the project that is the topic of this thread. In summary, the project deals with supporting other sanitation grantees and researchers with their field testing here in Durban, South Africa, and with improving their analytical methods in their own laboratories with respect to feacal sludge analyses. It is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

If you have any questions, please put them into this thread.

Regards,
Chris


Title of grant: Equipment and health and safety modifications required for developing the capacity to support grantees field-testing in Durban, SA

Name of lead organization: University of KwaZulu-Natal
Primary contact at lead organization: Chris Buckley
Grantee location: Durban, South Africa
Countries where the project takes place: South Africa, Senegal, East Africa and India
Start and end date: 10 Nov. 2014 to 31 Oct. 2017
Grant type: Other (supporting researchers from the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge scheme, but also other researchers)
Grant size: USD 1,600,432 (as per BMGF grant database here )

Short description of the project:

The grant was awarded to the Pollution Research Group (PRG) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in order to increase the capacity of the PRG to provide support to sanitation practitioners working in the faecal sludge management field. This included covering the cost of upgrading the laboratory to increase health and safety (improved extraction, storage etc.), provide more space for visiting researchers, and to purchase analytical equipment to increase the range of tests that can be undertaken.

In addition, the PRG offers training support to other laboratories wishing to undertake similar analyses. Staff labour costs of the PRG are covered by the grant, but all other costs such as chemicals, consumables, and travel and subsistence need to be covered by the researcher requesting assistance. Application for support can be made to Chris Buckley via email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


Goals:
  • To augment the services provided to transformative technology grantees and sanitation practitioners wishing to demonstrate their technologies in Eastern Africa
  • To provide laboratory and testing services to SteP (Sanitation Technology Evaluation Programme) in which prototypes developed by the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge and other initiatives are operated in a realistic environment (Senegal, Durban and Coimbatore)
  • To provide laboratory, and field testing support services to faecal sludge researchers
Objectives:
  • To have a laboratory, field testing and office facilities available for use by faecal sludge researchers
  • Increase the chemical, physical and microbiological data available of relevance to faecal sludge researchers
Research or implementation partners:
  • eThekwini Water and Sanitation
  • Water Research Commission of South Africa
  • Research partners: Durban University of Technology, Sanergy; Centre for Science and the Enviroment; Eawag; Sandec; Asian Institute of Technology; BORDA; Oklahoma State University; UNESCO-IHE; University College London
Links, further readings – results to date: Current state of affairs:
  • The offices and laboratory at the PRG, University of KwaZulu-Natal are currently being refurbished and are operating with reduced capacity. The Newlands Mashu laboratory and facilities are fully functional
  • The laboratory technicians are conducting training courses in Africa and India on methods for the analysis of faecal sludge streams (including Ascaris analysis) and health and safety in dealing with such streams.
  • The mechanical workshop is manufacturing a nitrification reactor for Sanergy
  • One of the engineers is assisting UNESCO-IHE in the manufacture and field evaluation of equipment
Biggest successes so far:
  • Assisting laboratories in Africa and India in the range of analyses that they can undertake. This includes Sanergy (Kenya), Consortium for DEWATS Dissemination (CDD) Laboratory (Bangalore, India), Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) Laboratory (Delhi, India), University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Mzuzu University (Malawi) and Malawi University (Malawi). Training has also been undertaken at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand.
  • Training researchers from Botswana University and University of Western Province in the Pollution Research Group laboratory in undertaking faecal sludge analysis.
Main challenges / frustration:
  • Being housed in the middle of a building site – but the end result will be an expanded facility

Chris Buckley
Pollution Research Group
University of KwaZulu-Natal
Durban
South Africa
prg.ukzn.ac.za/
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