COPPERBELT UNIVERSITY DISCOVERS AN INDIGENOUS BACTERIA TO  LOWER MINERALS PRODUCTION COST 

 

The Copperbelt University has identified an indigenous bacteria, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans strain DJN1 2021, which is capable of extracting mineral ores with low copper metal content at a relatively lower production cost.

The Bacteria discovered by a post graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree (M.Phil) in Chemical Engineering Davis John Nangali in collaboration with the Dean School of Mines and Mineral Sciences Professor John Siame was identified through the method of extracting mineral ores with low copper metal content at a relatively lower production cost using Bioleaching technology.

Professor Siame and Nangali devised the project to address issues leading to increase in production costs in mining such as the decline of mineral ore-quality. During the investigations, the team successfully developed a method of extracting valuable metals from mineral processing waste through the natural phenomena called Bioleaching.

Normally, in the process of extracting metals from underground deposits, many are left behind as the remaining elements are not valuable enough to extract, this is known as low-grade ore processing. To extract valuable metals from mineral processing waste, scientists began to study a natural phenomenon which is Bioleaching.

The Bioleaching process has moved beyond research and now being used in the mining industry. The process produces 5% of all Gold and 25% of all Copper extracted today and research is still underway on applying this method to other metal-containing waste.

The mining sector is one of the major drivers of economic development through provision of foreign direct investment and formal employment however, the industry is faced by numerous challenges such as the decline of mineral ore-quality resulting in high production costs. The discovery of this Bacteria brings a positive impact on the mining sector and paves way for the design of a pilot-scale bioleaching plant for use on a larger scale.

This is the success story of Davis John Nangali a Tanzanian national pursuing a Master’s degree (M.Phil) in Chemical Engineering under the Copperbelt University Africa Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Mining (CBU-ACESM).

 

 

 

The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) in partnership with the Copperbelt University (CBU) has launched a management information system aimed at improving the efficiency of the board.
 
The system developed by CBU covers the entire spectrum of the energy sector regulation including registration and licensing, compliance monitoring, submission and processing of returns, supply chain monitoring, document management system, fuel marking, complaints handling, and monitoring and evaluation. Speaking during the launch, ERB Managing Director Mr. Yohane Mukabe commended CBU for developing ICT solutions that meet the needs of the public while improving the efficiency of the board. He further explained that the system will widen the reach of the board’s clientele through its process of integrating with various databases of relevant entities for the retrieval of energy and sub-sector information.
 
And CBU acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor John Bwalya said the University is on hand to partner with both local and international entities in the provision of ICT solutions. Professor Bwalya further applauded ERB for partnering with CBU to efficiently fulfill its mandate of regulating the energy sector through innovative ICT solutions. The project was developed by Copperbelt University at a cost of one million kwacha, to cater to the  Energy Regulation board’s Online Registration, licenses application, online Submission of returns, and Compliant management.
 
Highlights of the events
 
  

RESEARCH AND TRAINING UNESCO CHAIR ESTABLISHED AT COPPERBELT UNIVERSITY; PROF O. SHUMBA IS CHAIRHOLDER

 

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Copperbelt University signed an Agreement for the establishment of a UNESCO chair on Mathematics, Science, and Technology Teacher Education for Sustainable Development (MaSTESD) at the Copperbelt University. This UNESCO Chair was officially established since 17 June 2022 within the framework of the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme. The Chair is mentioned in the global list of Chairs on the UNITWIN website: list-unesco-chairs.pdf.

 

Professor Overson Shumba has been appointed as the UNESCO Chair-holder on Mathematics, Science, and Technology Teacher Education for Sustainable Development (MaSTESD) hosted at the Copperbelt University. 

 

The purpose of the Chair is to promote an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation on quality and relevance of mathematics, science and technology education, articulating change theory and transformative pedagogy towards sustainable development. The chair will facilitate collaboration between high-level, internationally-recognized researchers and teaching staff of the University and other institutions including the School of Education, University of Zambia (UNZA), School of Education, Mukuba University, as well as Open University of Tanzania, the Midlands state University (Zimbabwe), University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and the Swedish International Centre of Education for Sustainable Development and the Uppsala University Campus (Sweden) and other regions in the world.

The mandate of the Chair includes

  • inculcating Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) discourses and action research in mathematics, science, and technology education (MSTE) (curriculum, pedagogy and assessment),
  • Strengthening capacity to mainstream ESD and the SDGs in MSTE,  
  • identify, document and disseminate institutional change projects that show innovation in integrating ESD and lCTs in MSTE, and
  • engaging and cooperating with other educational institutions, governmental and non-governmental departments and organisations, business and industries, and communities, to strengthen and popularise MSTE.

Further, the Chair on MaSTESD will contribute towards the main areas of work of the UNESCO HQ Teacher Section that include the following:

  • Mainstreaming cross-cutting issues (ESD, GCED, peace, climate change in teacher education and continuous professional training programmes of TEIs and partners interventions
  • Technical Guidance for Developing and Operationalizing National Teacher Competences and Standards Frameworks
  • Implementing the UNESCO Guide on Teacher Education curriculum frameworks; Guidebook on ESD for teacher Educators; A guide for gender equality in teacher policy and practices
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development
  • Global Teacher Campus-Online, collaborative professional learning, peer learning
  • WTD to advocate for addressing the teacher shortage and improving the status and working conditions of teachers and education staff.

 

Congratulations Prof. Shumba !!

Prof Shumba

 

Copperbelt University School of Medicine is dedicated into changing the lives of the community in Zambia by improving their health hence facilitating them to be more productive. In the week of July 10-15, 2022, Department of Dental and Clinical Sciences, of School of Medicine, Michael Chilufya sata campus conducted the community outreach to address oral health issues and COVID 19 prevention at Chitokoroki Ward in Zambezi District. The team comprised of Dental staff and students.

The community outreach conducted is a result of grant from HOPE FOUNDATION to support vulnerable population. It is awarded annually to organizations or individuals who are involved in bringing an impact to the vulnerable community. The CBU Dental Community Outreach to vulnerable community identified Chitokoroki ward in Zambezi district as a community vulnerable to oral diseases. The community outreach grant was awarded to Dr. Chrispinus Hakimu Mumena, who is the head of Department of Dental Clinical Sciences at Michael Chilufya Sata School of Medicine, (MCS-SOM). This the report of the first phase of implementation of the project that intended to address the community needs in the Chitokoroki ward.

Fig 1: Standing from left is Dr. Chrispinus Hakimu Mumena, the PI, Dr. David Mac Adams the Anaesthesiologist and acting in charge of the Chitokoroki Mission Hospital, Sr. Jr nurse in charge in theatre, and immediate in charge after Dr. David, Mr. Satish, the representative of Chemi and Cortex Zambia, the supply of whitedent tooth paste and tooth brush, Dr. Rajab Sasi, In charge of community outreach in the Department of Dental Clinical Sciences at CBU-MCS-SOM.

 

Location of Chitokoroki:

Chitokoroki is a ward located in Zambezi district, a road distance of 700 km from Ndola and 40 km from the Zambezi town. It is located on the Zambezi river in Northwest province. It is 100% rural, and has a population of 4,199 (2010 census). Zambezi district has a population of 80, 306(https://www.citypopulation.de/en/zambia/wards/admin/0808__zambezi/). The word “ Chitokoroki” means a place of sand. As is the name, the place is composed of sand making some areas within difficult to reach by car. Only 4 wheels drive cars can access all areas. The means transport to the area from Zambezi town centre is by small cars carrying 7 people. The cars operate only during the day from morning to evening at 18 hours.

Chitokoroki Mission Hospital is a 200 bed hospital that serves a population of 150,000 in the Zambezi district” https://www.samaritanspurse.org/medical/mission-hospitals-chitokoloki-mission-hospital-chitokoloki-zambia/”.   The public hospital which is the Zambezi district hospital which is located …. Km from Chitokoroki. The missionary hospital is operated partly with support from the visiting doctors from abroad and within the country. Most of the services are available except dental services. The specialized services are received intermittently through booking patients in a specific period when the Doctor or the team arrives. Specialized services are occasional.

 

Fig 2. Showing the map of Chitokoroki ward (image from https://nona.net/features/map/placedetail.2438977/Chitokoloki/)

CBU-SOM is located in Ndola district about 700 km from Chitokoroki. Dental clinical sciences department has specialized dentists and train BDS in the country. Due to operation from the central budget, there is limited budget to support any community outreach especially in the far areas such as Chitokoroki.

GOAL, AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT:

Purpose of the project: promote and improve the oral health and general wellbeing of the vulnerable population.

Aims:

Aim 1: reduction of occurrence of oral diseases and COVID transmission through oral health education and hand washing hygiene among the community in Zambezi district

Objectives:

  • Provide oral hygiene instruction, and oral health education about the causes of oral/dental diseases,
  • Distribute dentifrices to the community for promotion of good oral hygiene practices
  • Sensitize hand hygiene to prevent COVID and water based diseases

Aim 2: reduction of morbidity from preventable dental diseases

Objectives:

  • identify dental treatment needs of the community
  • identify oral diseases for emergency dental treatment onsite
  • identify dental diseases that needs elective dental treatment

Aim 3: reduction of the burden of dental disease to the community

Objectives:

  • Treatment for oral tumours at chitokoloki missionary hospital by provision of oral and maxillofacial surgical services
  • Atraumatic restorative treatment for all dental lesions requiring fillings
  • Advanced restorative treatment of teeth using the missionary infrastructure

EVENTS OF THE COMMUNITY OUTREACH AT CHITOKOROKI:

Fig 3. Demonstration of tooth brushing technique as part of oral health education to a group of children at Nyamona Primary school.

 

A                                                                               B

Fig 4A. CBU oral health team attending at Chitokoroki Mission Hospital. Oral health education and provision of tooth paste and tooth brush on going. In B, the client receiving tooth paste and tooth brush from CBU team.

        


 

Fig 5 A. A student demonstrating tooth brushing technique to a community member at the Chitokoroki Mission Hospital, which was among the centres of outreach. B. a student demonstrating tooth brushing technique, after providing a free toothpaste and tooth brush to a community member at the Chitokoroki Mission Hospital.

 

   

              

Fig 6: People queuing to receive the oral health care during the outreach. Old people, pregnant mothers and small children were directed to sit down to avoid standing in the que as these were special group.

 

            A.                                           B.                                                   C                                                                       

Fig 7. A: The photo displays the pathologies identified in the community. In this photo, the crown of the tooth is missing due to dental caries, and the root has perforated the mucosa to appear in the mouth. In B, the teeth crowns of the teeth are completely eroded away, the condition called Bruxism, that is manifested due to chewing the teeth as a result of stress, or bad oral habits of chewing materials such as sticks etc.in C, the patient has lost some anterior teeth due to periodontal and gum diseases.

 

                   

Fig 8. Outreach activities continuing in one of the station at Nyamona primary school.      

 

 

 

                                        A                                                                          B

Fig 9. A: Dr. Chrispinus H. Mumena, the PI of the project performing a minor surgery to a community member diagnosed with oral pathology. In B. a BDS student performing tooth extraction to a community member who was found with many root remnants due to dental caries.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:

The department conveys sincerely gratitude to HOPE FOUNDATION for awarding the grant to this project. We acknowledge Chemi & Cortex (Distributor: Gourock Zambia LTD) for supporting the project with dentifrices (family size toothpaste and tooth brush). Every member of the community who received the dentifrices, smiled happily. We last but not least acknowledge CBU management for approving the use of the grant for the intended activities.

 

 

Thursday 16th June 2022, the Copperbelt University held discussions with Mopani Copper Mines PLC to revisit existing MOUs in a bid to ensure they benefit both parties.

Areas of collaboration to be strengthened include human resource development, Staff Support, intensive in-service training, student internships as well as teaching and research collaborations.

The said collaborations will span across multiple disciplines including Mining, Engineering, ICT and Business.

The Two (2) institutions have agreed to work on a road map for implementation of the revised collaborations.

 

 

 

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