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Copyright 2017 - @ College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Makerere University. All Rights Reserved!

Lugali Yvonne

Title: Modeling Sludge accumulation rates in pit latrines: Case of Kampala City slums
Research Period: 2014 – 2015
Supervisors: Dr. Ahamada Zziwa and Dr. Wanyama Joshua
Collaborator(s): Dr. Sudhir Pillay
Collaborating Institution Water Research Commission of South Africa, KCCA and NWSC

Specific Objectives:

  1. To establish correlations between sludge accumulation and Physico-chemical parameters in pit latrines
  2. To develop a predictive model for sludge accumulation rates in lined pit latrines
  3. To develop a decision support tool to aid in designing and planning for emptying of pit latrines

Problem Statement:

Inaccurate prediction of sludge accumulation rates in the pit latrines in slum areas leads to unplanned need for emptying. The conventional cost of emptying is expensive to most of the slum dwellers and so the pit users seek alternative methods of reducing fecal sludge in the pit latrines such as emptying in streams and drainage channels during the rainy season. This is very unhygienic and can cause several waterborne diseases.


  1. Sludge accumulation rates
  2. Predictive sludge accumulation model(s)
  3. Decision support tools

Galyaki Cyrus

Title: CFD simulation and Experimental Study of a Solar Fruit Dryer
Research Period: 2014 - 2015
Supervisors: Dr. Nicholas Kiggundu and Dr. Joshua Wanyama
Collaborator(s): Prof. Noble Banadda and Prof. John Muyonga
Collaborating Institution N/A

Specific Objectives:

  1. To build a CFD based working prototype
  2. To test the prototype
  3. To evaluate the performance of the solar fruit dryer

Problem Statement:

Postharvest losses in perishables especially fruits are unacceptably high in Uganda. This in turn discourages farmers especially the youth for it translates in income loss and food insecurity. Although solar drying has been adopted to preserve fruits, most of the dryers currently used are of low capacity and energy inefficient making it hard to match field production rates and quality requirements for dried fruit products.

Project deliverables:

  1. A CFD computer prototype dryer
  2. Build working prototype
  3. Field prototype testing
  4. Evaluate heat and mass transfer rates

Nabateesa Sylivia

Title: Occurrence and survival of pathogens at different sludge depths in pit latrines and proximal groundwater sources and drainage water channels
Research Period: 2015 - 2016
Supervisors: Dr. Ahamada Zziwa and Dr. Isa Kabenge
Collaborator(s): Dr. Nicholas Kiggundu
Collaborating Institution Water Research Commission of South Africa, KCCA and NWSC

Specific Objectives:

  1. To determine the physical characteristics of pit sludge in terms of; moisture content, temperature, and pH
  2. To establish the pathogenic load which occur and survive in the pit sludge
  3. To determine the pathogenic loads of  drainage channels and groundwater sources within 100 m proximity to pits

Problem Statement:

In Kampala, 95% of peri-urban dwellers use onsite sanitation facilities, especially pit latrines. These facilities have potential to pollute ground water and proximal drainage channels and thus argued to cause pathogenic infections among the peri-urban dwellers. Pathogens that occur and later on survive in the pit latrines and proximal water bodies is a little studied topic. 


  1. Pit sludge pathogen loads
  2. Drainage channels and groundwater pathogen loads
  3. Pit sludge physical parameters

Kimuli Daniel

Title: Potential of Nutrient Recovery from Pit Latrines: A Case Study of Kampala City
Research Period: 2014 - 2015
Supervisors: Dr. Ahamada Zziwa and Prof. Noble Banadda
Collaborator(s): Department of Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois
Collaborating Institution Water Research Commission of South Africa, KCCA and NWSC

Specific Objectives:

  1. To quantify nutrients (Total Nitrogen, Ammonium-N, Nitrate-N, Phosphates, Potassium) concentration profiles in faecal sludge at different pit depths in lined and unlined pit latrines during rainy and dry seasons
  2. To establish correlations between physico-chemical properties (temperature, dissolved oxygen, moisture content and COD) through PCA
  3. To develop mathematical models for nutrients distribution in faecal sludge

Problem Statement:

The conventional faecal sludge management chain consists of capturing and storage facilities, transportation and treatment facilities, and disposal or reuse facilities but the situation in Kampala is that the treatment step is skipped with untreated sludge disposed of in water channels and or buried in the ground which creates surface and ground water pollution. In addition, limited efforts have been made towards exploring the reuse of faecal sludge to take advantage of or in the context of beneficial utilization of available nutrients.


  1. Nutrient concentration profiles
  2. Correlations between physico-chemical properties
  3. Nutrient mathematical models

Aboagye Dominic

Title: Ethanol yield from simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of dilute acid and alkaline pretreated corn stover
Research Period: 2015 - 2016
Supervisors: Prof. Noble Banadda  and Dr. Robert K. Kambugu         
Collaborator(s): Prof. Jeffrey Seay
Collaborating Institution University of Kentucky

Specific Objectives:

  1. To chemically characterize maize stover obtained from Uganda for ethanol production
  2. To determine the appropriate pretreatment solid loading for enhanced ethanol yield from SSF for acid and alkaline pretreated corn stover
  3. To determine the appropriate temperature and pH combination for enhanced ethanol yield from SSF of pretreated corn stover

Problem Statement:

Biomass researches have exhibited different results due to the difference in the supply of cellulose enzyme and dissimilar analytical methods.  Using corn stover from a single harvest with a shared supply of cellulose enzyme, identical analytical and identical approaches to the analysis of obtained data is required when conducting comparative studies. Also, most of the prevailing comparative studies were carried out using SHF instead of SSF which provides enhanced rates, yields and minimizes the production of inhibitory by-products.


  1. Maize stover chemical profiles
  2. Appropriate pretreatment solid loading for acid and alkaline pretreated corn stover
  3. Appropriate temperature and pH profiles for enhanced ethanol yield

Kizza Ronald

Title  Title Pyrolysis of Wood Waste for Production of organic pesticides and Bioethanol
Research Period: 2016 – 2017
Supervisors: Dr. Zziwa Ahamada
Collaborator(s): Dr. Nicholas Kiggundu, Prof. Jeffrey Seaya, Dr. Florence Kiyimba Lubwamab
Collaborating Institution

aUniversity of Kentucky, Department of Chemical Engineering, USA

bAgricultural Engineering and Appropriate Technology Research Centre (AEATREC) –Namalere, Uganda

Specific Objectives

  1. To determine and optimise the wood-based pesticides
  2. To determine correlation between sample treatment and wood vinegar production
  3. To characterise and quantify bioethanol production from saw dust of selected tree species

Problem statement:

Over 90% of the developing world’s energy needs are met by conventional fossil fuels. Wastes such as wood saw dust, chips and offcuts obtained from the wood processing industry form a large quantity of biomass, and these wastes may play an important role in finding new alternative energy sources and fuels. The technology of converting wood waste into value added products is the focus of this study.


  1. Bioethanol & wood vinegar
  2. Conversion rates of wood vinegar and bioethanol 
  3. Physio-chemical properties of wood vinegar and bioethanol

Munu Nicholas

Title: Pyrolysis of maize stover for bioethanol and biochar production
Research Period: 2016 - 2017
Supervisors: Dr. Nicholas Kiggundu
Collaborator(s): Dr. Ahamada Zziwa, Prof. Jeffrey Seaya, Dr. Florence Kiyimba Lubwamab
Collaborating Institution

aUniversity of Kentucky, Department of Chemical Engineering, USA

bAgricultural Engineering and Appropriate Technology Research Centre (AEATREC) –Namalere, Uganda

Specific Objectives:

  1. To determine the best maize stover preparation method for pyrolysis for bioethanol and biochar production
  2. To establish maize stover bioethanol conversion rate
  3. Characterize and quantify bioethanol and biochar production from maize stover

Problem statement:

Globally, there is a building consensus that fossil fuels are not a sustainable source of energy for the growing world population faced with climate change challenges. Renewable energy sources, such as maize stover currently fetch no economic value thus locking out farming communities that have nothing tangible to sell to the world economy. However, maize stover could provide the next generation of fuels and/or precursors to drive bio-based economies of countries like Uganda.


  1. Bioethanol fuel
  2. Bioethanol physico-chemical properties
  3. Biochar

Kasozi James Tondo

Title: Potential of Wind Powered Water Abstraction Systems: A Case of Teso Region
Research Period: 2015 - 2016

Dr. Nicholas Kiggundu &

Dr. Joshua Wanyama


Specific Objectives 

  • To determine  the wind distributions, pattern and wind energy potential  in Teso region
  • To evaluate the effect of height on wind speeds
  • To determine the underground water distribution in Teso region

Problem Statement:

Abstraction of underground water is a big challenge in Teso region with hand pumping as the most common abstraction method, yet it does not match the water demand. Women and children spend a lot of time at the water sources to collect the water and the livestock encroach on the water sources leading to siltation of the water facilities. Therefore there is need to devise appropriate technologies which are less energy consumingyet have high yields which can meet livestock and domestic demand.


  1. Seasonal wind profiles
  2. Ground water table profiles

Obeti Grism Lawrence

OBETI Grism Lawrence  
Title: Vegetable based bio-filtration system for treating fish pond effluent for reuse in peri-urban areas
Research Period: 2015 - 2016
Supervisors: Dr. Wanyama Joshua and Prof. Banadda Noble
Collaborator(s): Dr.LuizGuilherme
Collaborating Institution EmbrapaMid-North (Brazil)

Specific Objectives:

  1. Design and construct Vegetable based bio-filtration system utilizing indigenous green leafy and fibrous root vegetables
  2. Assess fish pond effluent quality along the bio-filter length with respect to ammonia and nitrate
  3. Perform cost-benefit analysis on vegetable based bio-filter

Problem Statement:

Although peri-urban ponds are closer to the market where demand for fish is high, they have limited access to natural water sources. Drawing water from urban water supply systems and dug wells renders it costly. Furthermore, reuse of fish pond effluent is limited by the high concentration of ammonia that renders the water toxic to fish. Systems that serve not only as bio-filters but also additional sources of income can be used to treat the fish pond effluent for reuse. However, there is lack of information on the appropriate size of Vegetable based bio-filtration unit utilizing indigenous vegetables.


  1. Vegetable based bio-filter prototype
  2. Effluent quality profiles a long Vegetable based bio-filter length
  3. Cost Benefit analysis on the bio-filter

Juma M. Obura


Development of an Integrated OX-Plough, Planter and Cultivator for Small-Scale Maize Farming

Research Period: 2015 - 2016

Dr. Balimunsi Hussein &

Dr. Robert Kambugu

Collaborator(s): Prof. Samuel Kyamanywa
Collaborating Institution University of Juba,  S. Sudan

Specific  Objectives:

  1. To undertake design modifications necessary to convert an ox-plough into integrated tool
  2. To fabricate and assemble a prototype of the integrated tool
  3. To test and evaluate the technical and economic performance of the integrated tool

Problem Statement:

Mechanized farming normally needed for precise and efficient cultivation and sowing of crops and can timely cover a large area with a minimal labour. However, those modernized technology usually are expensive, require tractor power and require maintenance which most of farmers can still not afford. Designing a low cost and efficient integrated tool (cultivator and planter) for maize grain farming for small scale farmers in Uganda is a worthwhile challenge. 


  1. Versatile integrated cultivator and planter computer prototype
  2. Build the integrated tool prototype
  3. Field test the integrated tool prototype

Godfrey Omondi Omulo

Title: Optimizing fast pyrolysis of banana wastes using response surface method to enhance bio-infrastructure products yield
Research Period: 2015 - 2016
Supervisors: Prof. Noble Banadda & Dr. Isa Kabenge 
Collaborator(s): aMark Mba-Wright &bJeffrey Seay
Collaborating Institution aIowa State University &bUniversity of Kentucky College of Engineering


  1. To characterize the pyrolysis conditions for the banana wastes
  2. To determine the optimum conditions for the production of bio-oil from banana wastes
  3. To characterize the pyrolysis oil and biochar from the banana wastes
  4. To test the suitability of the biochar from banana wastes for use as bio-cement, fertilizer and fuel

Problem Statement:

Postharvest losses of banana is a reality in Uganda that affects farmers and consumers alike.  Currently, the banana wastes, namely the leaves, pseudo-stem, stalks, rejected and rotten fruits and the fruit peels are not properly utilized thus contributing to the municipal solid waste management bill. Unfortunately banana wastes contribute to environmental pollution and soil nutrient loss.

Project Deliverables:

  1. Pyrolysis banana bio-oils and biochar
  2. Bio-oil and biochar profiles
  3. Bio-infrastructure products (bio-cement and bio-fertilizers)

Prosper Achaw Owusu

Title Reverse engineering of plastics into biodiesel
Research Period: 2016 - 2017
Supervisors: TBD
Collaborator(s): Prof. Jeffrey Seay
Collaborating Institution University of Kentucky, Department of Chemical Engineering, USA

Specific Objectives:

  1. To determine the effect of catalyst on oil yield
  2. To determine the effect of temperature on oil yield
  3. To identify potential application of the oil product

Problem statement:

Plastics and their use are part and parcel of modern daily life. Countries with no or little capacity to recycle plastics face environmental challenges such as soil and water pollution, heavy metal pollution, waterway blockage. Sustainable engineering techniques and approaches to solving the menace of used plastics is the focus of this study.


  1. Plastic-based biodiesel
  2. Physico-chemical properties of biodiesel
  3. Test biodiesel in running postharvest technology machinery and equipment


Title: Determining the most appropriate and optimum ratios of organic waste for biogas generation from small-scale food processing units
Research Period: 2015 - 2016
Supervisors: Dr. Kiggundu Nicholas and Dr. Isa Kabenge
Collaborator(s): Dr. Irene Nansubuga, Prof. Noble Banadda and Prof. John Muyonga
Collaborating Institution Nsambya Babies Home


Specific objectives:

1.  To quantify the organic waste from the FTBIC

2.  To characterize the organic waste from FTBIC for biogas generation

3.  To determine the quantity of biogas from the optimal organic waste ratios

4.  To select and size the digester

5.  To determine the quality of biogas from the organic waste materials from FTBIC

Problem Statement:

The generated waste from FTBIC is collected and dumped at Kiteezi landfill at a cost levied by KCCA. However, any delayed collection of the waste at the FTBIC is a source of bad odor and pests as well as rodents. The need to determine the most suitable organic wastes matrix and optimum ratios for biogas production from such small scale food processing units is a worthy undertaking.


1.  Organic waste quantification

2.  Organic waste characterization

3.  Constructed Fixed dome digester

Biogas quantification  and qualification


Title: Design and performance evaluation of a cooker-dryer system for small-holder farmers in Kayunga District
Research Period: 2015 - 2016

Dr. Ahamada Zziwa and

Dr. Robert Kambugu
Collaborator(s): Fruits of the Nile
Collaborating Institution Clusters Program - CEDAT

Specific Objectives:

1.  Evaluate performance of existing direct solar dryers in the different processing units in Kayunga District

2.  Treatment of pineapple slices with ascorbic acid as an appropriate technology used to produce quality dried pineapple

3.  Design and construct a pilot solar-cooker dryer prototype suitable for small-holder pineapple farmers

Problem Statement:

Dried fruit such as pineapples must meet stringent quality and safety standards if they are to be consumed and fetch good prices. In order to achieve this, robust drying methods and technologies play a pivotal role ensuring acceptable quality. Unlocking the delicate balance between technology complexity and cost is key in potentially linking farmer communities to lucrative fruit markets.


1.  Solar dryers Performance Profiles

2.  Protocol development and testing

Pilot testing a solar-cooker dryer prototype


Title: Comparative study of power tiller and animal drawn tillage implements performance on biochar enhanced soils for conservation of irrigation water
Research Period: 2016 - 2017

Collaborating Institution


1.  To characterize physical-chemical properties of biochar

2.  To compare power tiller and ADP tillage on performance of biochar on a maize field

Problem Statement:

Many countries are impacted by water scarcity and drought driven by climate change. Despite the increasing fresh water scarcity and competition among different uses, irrigation still consumes excessively high volumes of fresh water. Biochar can improve soil nutrient content. There is lack of knowledge on how physical-chemical parameters of biochar impact biochar performance in soil improvement.


1.  Biochar physico-chemical properties

2.  Power tiller and ADP tillage

Soil Nutrient characterization


Title: Predicting land use change and its environmental impact in the Northern Shoreline of Lake Victoria basin in Uganda water
Research Period: 2015 - 2016

Dr. Nicholas Kiggundu and

Dr. Joshua Wanyama
Collaborator(s): Prof. Bernie Engel
Collaborating Institution Purdue University, USA

Specific Objectives:

1.  To determine and quantify land use-cover changes in the Lake Victoria basin between 1984 and 2014

2.  To generate future land use change scenarios based on past land use data with a model

3.  To assess and predict the impact of anticipated land use changes on non-point source pollution and runoff

Problem Statement:

The Lake Victoria basin has experienced huge ecological changes for the past years. These changes are linked to various interrelated problems such as deteriorating water quality as reflected in high turbidity of water in the Lake, land degradation, fast population growth and declining agricultural productivity around the basin of the Lake. The various activities in the Lake’s basin have gradually come into conflict, leaving the lake environmentally unstable.


1.  Land use - cover change maps

2.  Quantification of NPS pollutants, sediment yield and run-off

Land use change scenario analysis

Predicting land use change and its environmental impact in the Northern Shoreline of Lake Victoria basin in Uganda

Contact us

Office of the Principal

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Makerere University

P.O.Box, 7062, Kampala, Uganda

Tel: +256-414-542277

Email: principal@caes.mak.ac.ug