Natural Sciences

Permanent URI for this collection

Browse

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 687
  • Item
    Understanding the nexus between traditional brick-making, biophysical and socio-economic environment of Goma Division, Mukono Municipality, Central Uganda
    (University of Brawijaya, 2024-07) Remigio Turyahabwe; Edward Andama; Andrew Mulabbi; Alice Nakiyemba
    This study aimed to evaluate the environmental and socio-economic impact of traditional brick-making in Goma Division. The research methods included semi-structured questionnaires, key informant interviews, field observation, and focused group discussions. The results indicated that traditional brick-making is causing harm to the biophysical environment in the form of the degradation of wetland vegetation and deforestation (100%), landscape deformation (85%), air and water pollution, whereby DO had reduced by 19.8%, BOD, pH, TSS, TDS, EC and turbidity had increased by 3.8±0.9 ppm, 1.2±0.1, 89.4±0.1 mg/L, 18±0.9 ppm, 70±0.7 µS/cm, and 264±44 NTUs, respectively. Water pollution loads varied from point to point of sampling significantly at p<0.05, with the highest loads found at the tail end or downstream of the site but lowest at a point upstream of the clay mining site. The socio-economic analysis showed that the benefits of brick-making outweigh the costs in terms of magnitude, except for the frequency of responses. All respondents indicated that brick-making had created employment, while 87% reported an improvement in their standard of living. However, the activity is associated with accidents that can result in loss of life or bodily injury. It was concluded that Mukono Municipal Environmental Officers should monitor brick-making mines and site activities to prevent the creation of open pits and caves. The environment should be treated as a borrowed asset to ensure sustainability. The study suggests that financial support and awareness should be available to clay miners and brickmakers to ensure sustainability.
  • Item
    Endocrine disrupting chemicals in wastewater treatment plants in Kenya, East Africa: Concentrations, removal efficiency, mass loading rates and ecological impacts
    (Elsevier Ltd, 2024-05) Emily Ngeno; Roselyn Ongulu; Francis Orata; Henry Matovu; Victor Shikuku; Richard Onchiri; Abel Mayaka; Eunice Majanga; Zachary Getenga; Joel Gichumbi; Joel Gichumbi
    This study investigated the levels, mass loadings, removal efficiency, and associated ecotoxicological risks of selected endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), namely, dibutylphthalate (DBP), diethylhexylphthalate (DEHP), dimethylphthalate (DMP), linuron (LNR) and progesterone (PGT) in wastewater, sludge, and untreated dry biosolid (UDBS) samples from twelve wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in nine major towns in Kenya. Analysis was done using high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with triple quadrupole mass spec trometry (LC-MS/MS). All the wastewater influents had quantifiable levels of EDCs with DBP being the most abundant (37.49%) with a range of 4.33 ± 0.63 to 19.68 ± 1.24 μg L− 1 . DEHP was the most abundant in sludge and accounted for 48.2% ranging between 278.67 and 9243.49 ng g− 1 dry weight (dw). In the UDBS samples, DEHP was also the most abundant (40%) of the total EDCs detected with levels ranging from 78.77 to 3938.54 ng g− 1 dw. The average removal efficiency per pollutant was as follows: DMP (98.7%) > DEHP (91.7%) > PGT (83.4%) > DBP (77.9%) > LNR (72.2%) which can be attributed to sorption onto the biosolid, biological degradation, photolysis, and phytoremediation. The pH was negatively correlated to the EDC concentrations while total dissolved solids (TDS), chemical oxygen demand (COD), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD5), and electrical conductivity (EC) were positively correlated. The mass loadings were as high as 373.33 g day− 1 of DBP in the treatment plants located in densely populated cities. DEHP and PGT had their Risk Quotients (RQs) > 1, posing a high risk to biota. DMP, DBP, and LNR posed medium risks as their RQ values were between 0.1 and 1. EDCs are therefore loaded to environmental compartments through either the effluent that loads these pollutants into the receiving aquatic ecosystem or through the UDBS, which are used as fertilizers in agricultural farmlands causing potential toxicological risks to aquatic and terrestrial life.
  • Item
    Climate change: A pointer to increased small-scale fisher drowning deaths
    (Public Library of Science, 2024-05) Rasolofoson, Ranaivo A; Onyango, Horace Owiti; Awuor, Fonda Jane; Aura, Christopher Mulanda; Fiorella, Kathryn J
    Abstract Drowning is an overlooked public health concern and drowning risk is dependent on environmental risk factors. The preponderance of drowning deaths occurs in low- and middle-income countries. Small-scale fishers face high occupational risk of drowning. Climate change increases the frequency and intensity of storms, thereby exacerbating fishers’ risks and creating a need to examine the contribution of storms to fisher drowning deaths for the development of mitigation strategies. We examined this relationship between weather and fisher drowning deaths in Lake Victoria, which is Africa’s largest lake, a site of high fishing pressure, and where climate change is predicted to increase thunderstorms. We conducted a verbal autopsy with people knowledgeable about recent fatal fisher drowning incidents to collect information about the deceased fishers and circumstances surrounding the incidents across 43 landing sites in the Kenyan shore of Lake Victoria. Semi-structured interviews with stakeholders also elucidated community perspectives on drowning risks. Fatal drownings were often attributed to bad weather (41.8%). Other risk factors, such as non-use of life jacket and navigation equipment, co-occurred with bad weather at high rates (69.5% and 67.8%, respectively) to jointly contribute to fatal drowning incidents. Such co-occurrence of risk factors indicates that actions across multiple risk factors can help mitigate the issue. Stakeholder analysis revealed a range of opportunities for improved communication of risks and action to mitigate risks across boat operators and manufacturers, as well as multiple levels of management. Across global small-scale fisheries, limited use of safety equipment and intensive fishing pressure may coincide with increases in extreme weather events, necessitating action to address current and mitigate future drowning risks to small-scale fishers.
  • Item
    Analysis of Machine Learning Algorithms for Prediction of Short-Term Rainfall Amounts Using Uganda’s Lake Victoria Basin Weather Dataset
    (IEEE, 2024-05) Gahwera, Tumusiime Andrew; Eyobu, Odongo Steven; Isaac, Mugume
    As a result of climate change, the difficulty in the prediction of short-term rainfall amounts has become a necessary area of research. The existing numerical weather prediction models have limitations in precipitation forecasting especially due to high computation requirements and are prone to errors. Precipitation amount prediction is challenging as it requires knowledge on a variety of environmental phenomena, such as temperature, humidity, wind direction, and more over a long period of time. In this study, we first of all present our Lake Victoria Basin weather dataset and then use it to conduct a rigorous analysis of machine learning algorithms to do short term rainfall prediction. The rigorous analysis includes algorithm optimizations to improve prediction performance. In particular, we intend to validate our weather dataset using various machine learning regression models which include Random Forest regression, Support vector regression, Neural Network regression, Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator regression, Gradient boosting regression, and Extreme Gradient boosting regression. The performance of the models was assessed using Mean Absolute Error (MAE), and Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) performance metrics. The findings demonstrate that, in comparison to other algorithms, Extreme Gradient Boost Regression had the lowest MAE values of 0.006, 0.018, 0.005 for Lake Victoria basin weather data in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania respectively.
  • Item
    Applying collocation and APRIORI analyses to chimpanzee diets: Methods for investigating nonrandom food combinations in primate self-medication
    (Wiley Subscription Services, Inc, 2024-05) Freymann, Elodie; d'Oliveira Coelho, João; Hobaiter, Catherine; Huffman, Michael A.; Muhumuza, Geresomu; Zuberbühler, Klaus; Carvalho, Susana; Carvalho, Susana
    Identifying novel medicinal resources in chimpanzee diets has historically presented challenges, requiring extensive behavioral data collection and health monitoring, accompanied by expensive pharmacological analyses. When putative therapeutic self-medicative behaviors are observed, these events are often considered isolated occurrences, with little attention paid to other resources ingested in combination. For chimpanzees, medicinal resource combinations could play an important role in maintaining well-being by tackling different symptoms of an illness, chemically strengthening efficacy of a treatment, or providing prophylactic compounds that prevent future ailments. We call this concept the self-medicative resource combination hypothesis. However, a dearth of methodological approaches for holistically investigating primate feeding ecology has limited our ability to identify nonrandom resource combinations and explore potential synergistic relationships between medicinal resource candidates. Here we present two analytical tools that test such a hypothesis and demonstrate these approaches on feeding data from the Sonso chimpanzee community in Budongo Forest, Uganda. Using 4 months of data, we establish that both collocation and APRIORI analyses are effective exploratory tools for identifying binary combinations, and that APRIORI is effective for multi-item rule associations. We then compare outputs from both methods, finding up to 60% agreement, and propose APRIORI as more effective for studies requiring control over confidence intervals and those investigating nonrandom associations between more than two resources. These analytical tools, which can be extrapolated across the animal kingdom, can provide a cost-effective and efficient method for targeting resources for further pharmacological investigation, potentially aiding in the discovery of novel medicines.
  • Item
    Oil, transport, water and food: a political-economy-ecology lens on VET in a climate changing world
    (Routledge, 2024-03-11) Lotz-Sisitka, Heila; McGrath, Simon; Ramsarup, Presha
    In this paper, drawing on an extensive research project across three countries (VET Africa 4.0 Collective 2023), we produce an emerging argument that it is necessary to rethink and reframe VET logics and approaches in a warming future dominated by informality and mass unemployment. Currently,neither the formal VET college or workplace are adequately set up to provide the type(s) of VET that are in demand or needed for just transitioning and sustainable futures. We acknowledge the importance of political economy accounts in developing a richer understanding of VET, but suggest these are not sufficient for dealing with the existential and practical crisis of the climate emergency. We note that many scholars have sought to address this tension in the academic literature by adopting a political ecology account that reframes the theoretical and political challenge. This leads us to call for a political-economy-ecology account of VET. Although we acknowledge the limited nature of our approach here, we offer some thoughts for VET analysis with reflection on these theoretical issues applied to four cases studies from Uganda and South Africa of VET provisioning in oil, transport, water and food (which materially shape our cases). Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts (ASSIA)
  • Item
    Selective deforestation and exposure of African wildlife to bat-borne viruses
    (Nature Publishing Group UK, 2024-04) Fedurek, Pawel; Asiimwe, Caroline; Rice, Gregory K.; Akankwasa, Walter J; Reynolds, Vernon; Hobaiter, Catherine; Kityo, Robert; Muhanguzi, Geoffrey; Zuberbühler, Klaus; Crockford, Catherine; Cer, Regina Z; Bennett, Andrew J; Rothman, Jessica M; Bishop-Lilly, Kimberly A; Goldberg, Tony L.
    Proposed mechanisms of zoonotic virus spillover often posit that wildlife transmission and amplification precede human outbreaks. Between 2006 and 2012, the palm Raphia farinifera , a rich source of dietary minerals for wildlife, was nearly extirpated from Budongo Forest, Uganda. Since then, chimpanzees, black-and-white colobus, and red duiker were observed feeding on bat guano, a behavior not previously observed. Here we show that guano consumption may be a response to dietary mineral scarcity and may expose wildlife to bat-borne viruses. Videos from 2017–2019 recorded 839 instances of guano consumption by the aforementioned species. Nutritional analysis of the guano revealed high concentrations of sodium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. Metagenomic analyses of the guano identified 27 eukaryotic viruses, including a novel betacoronavirus. Our findings illustrate how “upstream” drivers such as socioeconomics and resource extraction can initiate elaborate chains of causation, ultimately increasing virus spillover risk. A study in Uganda found that local extirpation of a mineral-rich tree species used in tobacco farming forced wildlife to obtain minerals by eating bat guano, in which 27 eukaryotic viruses were identified, including a novel betacoronavirus.
  • Item
    Flexible grouping patterns in a western and eastern chimpanzee community
    (Wiley Subscription Services, Inc, 2024-04) Koops, Kathelijne; Akankwasa, Walter; Camara, Henry Didier; Fitzgerald, Maegan; Keir, Alex; Mamy, Gnan; Matsuzawa, Tetsuro; Péter, Hella; Vicent, Kizza; Zuberbühler, Klaus; Hobaiter, Catherine
    Abstract Primate social organizations, or grouping patterns, vary significantly across species. Behavioral strategies that allow for flexibility in grouping patterns offer a means to reduce the costs of group living. Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) have a fission‐fusion social system in which temporary subgroups (“parties”) change in composition because of local socio‐ecological conditions. Notably, western chimpanzees (P. t. verus) are described as showing a higher degree of bisexual bonding and association than eastern chimpanzees, and eastern female chimpanzees (P. t. schweinfurthii) are thought to be more solitary than western female chimpanzees. However, reported comparisons in sociality currently depend on a small number of study groups, particularly in western chimpanzees, and variation in methods. The inclusion of additional communities and direct comparison using the same methods are essential to assess whether reported subspecies differences in sociality hold in this behaviorally heterogeneous species. We explored whether sociality differs between two communities of chimpanzees using the same motion‐triggered camera technology and definitions of social measures. We compare party size and composition (party type, sex ratio) between the western Gahtoy community in the Nimba Mountains (Guinea) and the eastern Waibira community in the Budongo Forest (Uganda). Once potential competition for resources such as food and mating opportunities were controlled for, subspecies did not substantially influence the number of individuals in a party. We found a higher sex‐ratio, indicating more males in a party, in Waibira; this pattern was driven by a greater likelihood in Gahtoy to be in all‐female parties. This finding is the opposite of what was expected for eastern chimpanzees, where female‐only parties are predicted to be more common. Our results highlight the flexibility in chimpanzee sociality, and caution against subspecies level generalizations. We used the same motion‐triggered camera technology to compare party size and composition between the western Gahtoy community in the Nimba Mountains (Guinea) and the eastern Waibira community in the Budongo Forest (Uganda). Western chimpanzees were more likely to be in all‐female parties, which is contrary to the expectation of more female‐only parties in eastern chimpanzees. Our findings highlight the flexibility in chimpanzee grouping patterns. Research highlights Party size in western and eastern chimpanzees did not differ between our two study communities suggesting that the number of individuals in a party is shaped by similar socio‐ecological pressures. In our sample, eastern chimpanzees were found to have more males in a party compared to western chimpanzees, contrary to the expectation of more female‐only parties in eastern compared to western chimpanzees. Our findings highlight the flexibility in chimpanzee grouping patterns and caution against subspecies level generalizations from limited data points and/or heterogeneous methods.
  • Item
    Navigating through Complexity by Profiling the Main Threats to Sustainable Tropical Wetlands Management and Governance: A Case Study of Mityana District, Uganda
    (Springer International Publishing, 2024-03) Matovu, Baker; Sarfo, Isaac; Bbira, Yasin; Yeboah, Emmanuel; Muhoozi, Yosia; Lukambagire, Isaac
    Abstract Wetlands are crucial ecosystems that promote sustainable livelihood and biodiversity conservation, especially in tropical regions. However, recent studies have reported increasing threats to wetlands both environmental and human which threaten the provision and acquisition of several wetland benefts. Though there is recognition of the value of wetlands, in most local communities in Uganda; especially around the Lake Wamala region in Mityana district, there is still limited knowledge and research on the benefts of wetlands and the level of threat thus afecting wetland governance. This research addresses this gap by using participatory research to create a baseline inventory that could be used by wetland managers to identify the main wetlands threats to inform policy on how to develop participatory actions and local area-based management practices. The study was conducted in 14 sub-counties and a sample of 105 wetlands along the wetlands of Lake Wamala and River Mayanja wetlands system in Mityana District was captured. Study fndings revealed increased human threats to wetlands especially in the River Mayanja seasonal wetlands zone. The increased efects of environmental threats such as climate change are also altering permanent wetlands along Lake Wamala. Our developed inventory based on local participants’ perspectives revealed that since the level of damage to wetlands in Mityana especially the permanent wetlands is relatively low, a focus on developing new mapping, and a decentralized approach to wetland management that focuses on capacity building, development of wetlands action plans, increased support to local wetland authorities, and a system thinking approach in wetland threat identifcation and management could help in the regeneration of most wetlands zones.
  • Item
    Does industrialization promote the emission mitigation agenda of East Africa? a pathway toward environmental sustainability
    (Frontiers Research Foundation, 2024-03) Yu, Yan Musah, Mohammed; Owusu-Akomeah, Michael; Nkyi, Joseph Akwasi; Li, Jing; Appiagyei Ampong, George Oppong; Kumah, Emmanuel Attah; Cao, Siqi; Xu, Yuxiang; Shi, Yingfang; Wang, Liqi; Hui, Can; Li, Kaodui
    One macroeconomic variable that has been proven to be a major driver of environmental quality in the world is industrialization. However, despite the numerous explorations on the connection between industrialization and ecological quality, limited studies have examined the linkage amidst the series in East Africa. This study was therefore conducted to help fill that gap. In accomplishing this goal, econometric techniques that control for cross-sectional correlations, heterogeneity and endogeneity among others, were engaged for the analysis. From the results, the panel under consideration was heterogeneous and cross-sectionally correlated. Also, the studied series were first differenced stationary and cointegrated in the long-run. The elasticities of the regressors were explored via the cross-sectionally augmented autoregressive distributed lag (CS-ARDL) estimator, cross-sectionally augmented distributed lag (CS-DL) estimator and the augmented mean group (AMG) estimator. From the results, industrialization reduced environmental quality in the region via high CO2 emissions. Also, financial development, foreign direct investments, urbanization and energy consumption were not environmentally friendly in the bloc. On the causal linkages amid the series, bidirectional causalities between industrialization and CO2 emissions; between energy consumption and CO2 secretions; and between foreign direct investments and CO2 exudates were detected. Finally, one-way causal movements from financial development and urbanization to the effluents of CO2 were unraveled. Based on the findings the study recommended among others that, national policies that can promote energy conservation at the industrial level, and can convert the industrial structure of the region to a low carbon-intensive one should be formulated.
  • Item
    Climate change-related distributional range shifts of venomous snakes: a predictive modelling study of effects on public health and biodiversity
    (Elsevier Ltd, 2024-03) Martinez, Pablo Ariel; Teixeira, Irene Barbosa da Fonseca; Siqueira-Silva, Tuany; da Silva, Franciely Fernanda Barbosa; Lima, Luiz Antônio Gonzaga; Chaves-Silveira, Jonatas; Olalla-Tárraga, Miguel Ångel; Gutiérrez, José María; Amado, Talita Ferreira
    Climate change is expected to have profound effects on the distribution of venomous snake species, including reductions in biodiversity and changes in patterns of envenomation of humans and domestic animals. We estimated the effect of future climate change on the distribution of venomous snake species and potential knock-on effects on biodiversity and public health. We built species distribution models based on the geographical distribution of 209 medically relevant venomous snake species (WHO categories 1 and 2) and present climatic variables, and used these models to project the potential distribution of species in 2070. We incorporated different future climatic scenarios into the model, which we used to estimate the loss and gain of areas potentially suitable for each species. We also assessed which countries were likely to gain new species in the future as a result of species crossing national borders. We integrated the species distribution models with different socioeconomic scenarios to estimate which countries would become more vulnerable to snakebites in 2070. Our results suggest that substantial losses of potentially suitable areas for the survival of most venomous snake species will occur by 2070. However, some species of high risk to public health could gain climatically suitable areas for habitation. Countries such as Niger, Namibia, China, Nepal, and Myanmar could potentially gain several venomous snake species from neighbouring countries. Furthermore, the combination of an increase in climatically suitable areas and socioeconomic factors (including low-income and high rural populations) means that southeast Asia and Africa (and countries including Uganda, Kenya, Bangladesh, India, and Thailand in particular) could have increased vulnerability to snakebites in the future, with potential effects on public human and veterinary health. Loss of venomous snake biodiversity in low-income countries will affect ecosystem functioning and result in the loss of valuable genetic resources. Additionally, climate change will create new challenges to public health in several low-income countries, particularly in southeast Asia and Africa. The international community needs to increase its efforts to counter the effects of climate change in the coming decades. German Research Foundation, Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación de España, European Regional Development Fund.
  • Item
    Habitual ground nesting in the Bugoma Forest chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii), Uganda
    (Wiley Subscription Services, Inc, 2024-02) Hobaiter, Catherine; Klein, Harmonie; Gruber, Thibaud
    We report the presence of habitual ground nesting in a newly studied East African chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) population in the Bugoma Central Forest Reserve, Uganda. Across a 2‐year period, we encountered 891 night nests, 189 of which were classified as ground nests, a rate of ~21%. We find no preliminary evidence of socio‐ecological factors that would promote its use and highlight local factors, such as high incidence of forest disturbance due to poaching and logging, which appear to make its use disadvantageous. While further study is required to establish whether this behavior meets the strict criteria for nonhuman animal culture, we support the argument that the wider use of population and group‐specific behavioral repertoires in flagship species, such as chimpanzees, offers a tool to promote the urgent conservation action needed to protect threatened ecosystems, including the Bugoma forest. Chimpanzees of the Mwera community in the Bugoma Central Forest Reserve, Uganda, construct 21% of their overnight nests on the ground, with a further 4% at under 2 m in height. Overnight ground nests can be distinguished from flimsier structures, such as day beds, by the use of multiple interwoven structural branches. Research highlights Chimpanzees in the Bugoma Forest, Uganda, habitually employ overnight ground nests (21% of total nests, ground nests present in 25% of nest sites). We discuss a range of socio‐ecological and cultural explanations, highlighting local factors that appear to be disadvantageous for the behavior. While behavioral variation may offer a powerful tool for conservation, strict scientific thresholds for establishing cultural explanations may not be compatible with urgent conservation timelines.
  • Item
    Systematics of the Thirteen-scaled Green Snake Philothamnus carinatus (Squamata: Colubridae), with the description of a cryptic new species from Central and East Africa
    (Taylor & Francis, 2023-11) Greenbaum, Eli; Pauwels, Olivier S. G.; Gvoždík, Václav; Vaughan, Eugene R; Chaney, Teslin; Buontempo, Michael; Aristote, Mwenebatu M.; Muninga, Wandege M.; Engelbrecht, Hanlie M.
    Abstract Recent molecular phylogenies of African Green Snakes suggested the geographically widespread species Philothamnus carinatus includes at least two distinct lineages. We utilised an integrative taxonomic approach with morphological and genetic data to reconcile the taxonomic status of these cryptic lineages, including the recently described taxon P. brunneus from West Africa. We sequenced three mitochondrial (16S, cyt b and ND4) and two nuclear (c-mos and RAG1) genes from several Central African populations of P. carinatus and combined our data with other closely related species to infer a maximum likelihood phylogenetic tree with IQ-TREE. Our results are consistent with previous studies that showed P. cf. carinatus populations from Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) represent a cryptic lineage that is distinct from P. carinatus sensu stricto in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea (including Bioko Island), Gabon, eastern Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, and extreme western DRC. In our preferred tree, P. brunneus (limited to 16S molecular data) was recovered as a relatively long branch in a moderately supported clade with P. carinatus sensu stricto, whereas P. cf. carinatus populations from northern Angola, most of DRC, and East Africa (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda) were described as a new species. A possible hybrid population between south-eastern Cameroon and north-western DRC is consistent with an increasing body of evidence suggesting the Ubangi River might represent a hybrid zone area.
  • Item
    Evaluation of precipitation simulations in CMIP6 models over Uganda
    (John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2021-07) Ngoma, Hamida; Wen, Wang; Ayugi, Brian; Babaousmail, Hassen; Karim, Rizwan; Ongoma, Victor
    Abstract This study employed 15 CMIP6 GCMs and evaluated their ability to simulate rainfall over Uganda during 1981–2014. The models and the ensemble mean were assessed based on the ability to reproduce the annual climatology, seasonal rainfall distribution and trend. Statistical metrics used include mean bias error, normalized root mean square error, and pattern correlation coefficient. The Taylor diagram and Taylor skill score (TSS) were used in ranking the models. The models' performance varies greatly from one season to the other. The models reproduced the observed bimodal rainfall pattern of March to May (MAM) and September to November (SON) occurring over the region. Some models slightly overestimated, while some slightly underestimated, the MAM rainfall. However, there was a high rainfall overestimation during SON by most models. The models showed a positive spatial correlation with observed dataset, whereas a low correlation was shown inter‐annually. Some models could not capture the rainfall patterns around local‐scale features, for example, around the Lake Victoria basin and mountainous areas. The best performing models identified in the study include GFDL‐ESM4, CanESM5, CESM2‐WACCM, MRI‐ESM2‐0, NorESM2‐LM, UKESM1‐0‐LL, and CNRM‐CM6‐1. The models CNRM‐CM6‐1, and CNRM‐ESM2 underestimated rainfall throughout the annual cycle and mean climatology. However, these two models better reproduced the spatial trends of rainfall during both MAM and SON. Caution should be taken when employing the models in seasonal climate change studies as their performance varies from one season to another. The model spread in CMIP6 over the study area also calls for further investigation on the attributions and possible implementation of robust approaches of machine learning to minimize the biases. Evaluation of the general climate models in CMIP6 over Uganda.
  • Item
    Who are the elephants living in the hybridization zone? How genetics may guide conservation to better protect endangered elephants
    (Elsevier B.V, 2021-12) Bonnald, Julie; Utge, Jose; Kuhner, Mary K.; Wasser, Samuel K.; Asalu, Edward; Okimat, John Paul; Krief, Sabrina
    Abstract After a long-standing debate, African elephants are now considered by the IUCN as two distinct species: savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana), listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis), critically endangered. Both are severely threatened by forest loss, fragmentation and degradation due to agriculture expansion, as well as by illegal ivory trade. Although the two species have different habitat preferences, their range overlaps in some ecotones; despite an ancient separation between these two species, hybrids have been reported in five locations. The main hybrid hotspot is located on the Democratic Republic of Congo-Uganda border and still remains understudied. Using 15 microsatellites, we investigated this hybridization zone by determining the species and hybrid status of 177 fecal samples collected in the area of Sebitoli, at the extreme North of Kibale National Park. Surprisingly for a forest area, no pure forest elephants were detected. Out of the 91 individuals sampled, a very large proportion (81.3%) were hybrid individuals mainly from a second generation or more. Only 18.7% of pure savannah elephants were detected, all originating from the DRC-Uganda border. Further analyses are necessary to assess the age of this hybridization zone. Our results emphasize that hybrids and savannah elephants can successfully range in forested area. They also show that forest elephants are rare even in their native habitat. In the current context of high threat faced by African elephant species, it is crucial to strengthen conservation efforts for these species before it is too late.
  • Item
    Pollution from cooking in rural and poor urban households of Africa: A methodological review
    (AOSIS, 2022-12) Gangiah, Sasi
    The article examines the effect of cooking food in kitchens on the health of women, as women and children are at a greater risk to indoor air pollution (IAP). It is important to study the cooking practices and prevalent behaviours among African women to understand the magnitude of the danger they face. The study suggests that a decline in the combustion of solid fuels and the use of clean energy can improve health among women and children, as well as sustainability goals. Proverbs 17:22 says, ‘A joyful heart is the health of the body, but a depressed spirit dries up the bones’. Bible verse Numbers 35:33–34 indicates, ‘You shall not pollute the land in which you live’. The cooking fuel analysis framework among rural women in Africa will guide forward the governments’ sustainability policies for communities to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being of women and children. Contribution: The article conducts a comprehensive analysis of the literature on African cooking practices. A combined search string is made with keywords. Thematic content analysis is conducted with NVivo (produced by QSR International). The article covers two themes, namely improved well-being and suggesting policies to combat climate change and its impacts. Policies and schemes at grassroots levels and better economic conditions in African countries can help to overcome challenges and change health-damaging cooking behaviours. The new advanced sustainability analysis framework has the potential to influence modern kitchen fuels and increase the adoption of new technologies in African villages.
  • Item
    Topographic influence on landslides characteristics and implication for risk management in upper Manafwa catchment, Mt Elgon Uganda
    (Springer International Publishing, 2020-09) Nakileza, B. R; Nedala, S.
    Abstract Abstract This study aimed to characterize the topographic effect on landslides attributes and explore the implications on risk management in a tropical mountainous environment. A database was constructed based on landslide inventory from field surveys supplemented by desk research. The topographic parameters were derived from STRM DEM of a 30 m resolution for the study area. The analysis of the data was conducted in Arc GIS 10.5 environment. The relationship between landslides and topographic conditioning factors was analysed using the Frequency Ratio model. Results revealed that most landslides were distributed within the altitudinal range of 1500 to 1800 m a.s.l. on moderately steep slopes (15 o-20o) in concave curvatures (hollows). Shallow slides mainly debris flows and debris slides were predominant. Most slope failures were initiated on mid to upper slope positions in either new or old scars. Some runout depositions of large slides ended in streams thus undermining water quality. The findings on topographic parameters have implications and yet landslide risk management by the local population was generally inadequate. Any efforts toward effective landslide risk management should prioritise greening the sensitive topographic hollows and old scars particularly on mid to upper slope positions.
  • Item
    Do Trees on Farms Improve Household Well-Being? Evidence From National Panel Data in Uganda
    (Frontiers Media, 2020-09) Miller, Daniel C; Muñoz-Mora, Juan Carlos; Rasmussen, Laura V.; Zezza, Alberto
    Trees on farms provide livelihood benefits to households across Africa. To date, however, evidence on how such trees affect household well-being over time remains lacking. Evidence is especially sparse at the national level where it has particular value for policymaking. To address this knowledge gap, we use nationally representative panel data from Uganda to examine how on-farm tree growing may affect two dimensions of household well-being: 1) income and 2) food security and nutrition. We analyzed household-level data from the 2005–2006, 2010–2011, and 2013–2014 Ugandan National Panel Surveys, including measures on adoption and abandonment of trees on farms, demographic factors, and other socioeconomic variables. We used a fixedeffects panel specification and probabilistic models to assess the relationship between the area devoted to trees on farms and household income and nutrition outcomes for 1,395 households across Uganda. Our results show that growing trees especially fruit trees, was associated with improvements in both total household consumption and nutritional outcomes (proxied by weight and wasting status of children younger than 5 years old). These findings suggest the important role trees on farms can play in poverty reduction and sustainable development efforts in Uganda and other countries in Africa and beyond
  • Item
    Bioecology of fall armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith), its management and potential patterns of seasonal spread in Africa.
    (Public Library of Science, 2021-06) Niassy, Saliou; Agbodzavu, Mawufe Komi; Kimathi, Emily; Mutune, Berita; Abdel-Rahman, El Fatih M; Salifu, Daisy; Hailu, Girma; Belayneh, Yeneneh T; Felege, Elias; Tonnang, Henri E. Z; Ekesi, Sunday; Subramanian, Sevgan; Subramanian, Sevgan
    Abstract Fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) has rapidly spread in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and has emerged as a major pest of maize and sorghum in the continent. For effective monitoring and a better understanding of the bioecology and management of this pest, a Community-based Fall Armyworm Monitoring, Forecasting, Early Warning and Management (CBFAMFEW) initiative was implemented in six eastern African countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi). Over 650 Community Focal Persons (CFPs) who received training through the project were involved in data collection on adult moths, crop phenology, cropping systems, FAW management practices and other variables. Data collection was performed using Fall Armyworm Monitoring and Early Warning System (FAMEWS), a mobile application developed by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Data collected from the CBFAMFEW initiative in East Africa and other FAW monitoring efforts in Africa were merged and analysed to determine the factors that are related to FAW population dynamics. We used the negative binomial models to test for effect of main crops type, cropping systems and crop phenology on abundance of FAW. We also analysed the effect of rainfall and the spatial and temporal distribution of FAW populations. The study showed variability across the region in terms of the proportion of main crops, cropping systems, diversity of crops used in rotation, and control methods that impact on trap and larval counts. Intercropping and crop rotation had incident rate 2-times and 3-times higher relative to seasonal cropping, respectively. The abundance of FAW adult and larval infestation significantly varied with crop phenology, with infestation being high at the vegetative and reproductive stages of the crop, and low at maturity stage. This study provides an understanding on FAW bioecology, which could be vital in guiding the deployment of FAW-IPM tools in specific locations and at a specific crop developmental stage. The outcomes demonstrate the relevance of community-based crop pest monitoring for awareness creation among smallholder farmers in SSA.
  • Item
    Three spatially separate records confirm the presence of and provide a range extension for the giant pangolin Smutsia gigantea in Kenya
    (Cambridge University Press, 2022-07-04) Sandri, Tommy; Okell, Claire; Nixon, Stuart; Matthews, Naomi; Omengo, Fred; Mathenge, James; Ndambuki, Stephen; Challender, Daniel W.S.; Chepkwony, Richard; Omondi, Patrick; Ngene, Shadrack; Cain, Bradley
    Abstract Abstract Pangolins are some of the most overexploited but least studied mammals. The giant pangolin Smutsia gigantea is the largest of the eight pangolin species, measuring up to 180 cm in length and weighing up to 40 kg. It is a nocturnal, solitary species that occurs at low densities and little is known regarding its biology and ecology. It is distributed widely across the rainforests and forest savannah mosaics of equatorial Africa but its exact range extent is unknown. Apart from a single record in Kenya predating 1971, the eastern limit of its range was thought only to extend to central Uganda and western Tanzania. Here we present three spatially separate records confirming the presence of this species in Kenyan Afromontane forests. The three records are c. 120 km apart and c. 500 km east of the nearest confirmed giant pangolin population in Uganda. These records represent a significant range extension for the species and highlight the biodiversity and conservation importance of the Afromontane forests of western Kenya.