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  • Sub-Saharan Africa news in brief: 28 July–August 11 2010

Below is a round up of news from or about Sub-Saharan Africa for the period 28 JulyAugust 11 2010

Uganda's effort to curb methane emissions is a global first
Uganda has registered a programme with a series of activities aimed at cutting down methane emissions, according to the World Bank. The programme will promote financially and environmentally sustainable waste composting in urban areas and is said to be the first of its kind globally. This programme serves as an example for many other African countries to design and implement large scale mitigation activities, said Henry Aryamanya Mugisha, executive director of the National Environmental Management Authority. More

Understanding 'private lives' of mosquitoes vital to fight against malaria
Understanding the lives of mosquito vectors in their outdoor environments is crucial in the fight to eradicate malaria, according to a review study in PLoS Medicine. Most of what we know is based on waiting for them [mosquitoes] to come to us rather than us to follow them as they struggle to survive and reproduce, Gerry Killeen, a senior scientist at Ifakara Health Institute, in Tanzania said. More

Arrest acidic mine water drainage, South African government told
Experts and activists are calling on the South African government to urgently fund the treatment of acidic water contaminated with heavy metals at abandoned mines. The contaminated water could otherwise reach Johannesburg within 18 months, they said. Flooding the disused coal mine pits and creating artificial wetlands are among the proposals to 'passively treat' the contaminated water. More

HIV/TB research in South Africa gets US$4 million funding
A study to examine whether adding antiretroviral therapy to treatments for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) could be helpful to those with TB/HIV co-infection in South Africa has received a US$4 million grant. The grant has been awarded to Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University by the US-based National Institutes of Health. No one has looked at how best to treat these patients. The goal of our study is to gather evidence that will guide clinical practice and public health policy for MDR-TB/HIV disease worldwide, said lead researcher Neel Gandhi. More

Take health research seriously, experts tell Nigeria
Nigeria must take health research seriously if it is to achieve its Vision 2020 becoming one of the world's 20 largest economies. Scientists attending the five-day Molecular Biology Workshop 2010, in Lagos, said health research must be accorded priority in funding, recognition and that research findings must be put into use. They said that funding for health research in Nigeria is neglected and still not recognized as an important component in socio-economic development of the country. More

Most African countries unlikely to transit to digital broadcasting by 2015
With only four years to go to the International Telecommunications Union deadline for all countries to switch to digital broadcasting, more than 52 African countries will not be able to make the transition according to research from Balancing Act. The countries have to grapple with a number of challenges including specifications for set-top boxes, global demand for the boxes and costs involved. Digital broadcasting is said to allow for a greater variety of channels, increased revenue for governments and more jobs in the local TV sector. More

Uganda gives green light to drought-tolerant maize trials
Uganda has authorised confined field trials for Water Efficient Maize for Africa (WEMA). The National Biosafety Committee approved the trials and issued a permit to the National Crops Resource Research Institute (NACRRI) in July, according to Yona Baguma, senior researcher at NACRRI. Uganda is one of five African countries working on the WEMA project to develop maize varieties adapted to semi-arid conditions. More

Small scale farmers in Zambia could source energy from sawdust stove
The sawdust stove that is cost effective and user friendly could power cooking for small scale farmers in Ndola, who are not connected to main hydro electric power grid. The sawdust is a by-product of the wood industry and is often discarded as waste. It is hoped that the stove, if popularised, could substantially reduce deforestation by cutting down reliance on indigenous trees used for making charcoal as a source of energy. More

Compiled by Ochieng' Ogodo.

If you would like to suggest a story for this news in brief, please contact the Africa News Editor Ochieng' Ogodo (Ochieng.Ogodo@scidev.net).

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