Agricultural and Circular Economy

Theme Lead: Prof Alfred Odindo



Lead organisation

Brief Description

2021 – 2022

WASH R&D Centre

This project is a direct response to the food shortages being experienced in many communities. The self-provision of a familiar form of fertiliser from human urine provides an opportunity for households and communities to grow nutritious produce and over a period of time have an income stream resulting in a route out of hunger and poverty.

2019 – 2023

UKZN – Crop Science

The main objective of RUNRES is to co-design, test, implement and scale safe, (cost-)efficient, and socially acceptable innovations to valorize urban and rural waste resources and enhance food value chains in order to enhance circular economies and thereby improve the resilience of city region food systems. RUNRES will achieve this by working with transdisciplinary innovation platforms in Arba Minch, Ethiopia; Bukavu, eastern DRC; Kamonyi, Rwanda; and Msunduzi, South Africa.


2018 – 2020

IFAKARA Health Institute

Improving the acceptability of the DEWATS technology to the community (es) in Dar es Salam, Tanzania, can only be possible by the application of new knowledge and approaches to strengthen our strategies and policies towards adequate and equitable sanitation.The studies conducted by UKZN, eThekwini and BORDA on the adaptability and functioning of DEWATS in South Africa indicates the presence of derived factors which will be very supportive during the project implementation to bring up positive results. The clear indication of the acceptance of DEWATS technology by people from Durban which was due to the hard work done by the government (eThekwini municipality), Universities  UKZN) and other stakeholders (BORDA), indicates that when this type of strategy is followed up with focus on solving the problem there are great chances of improving the sanitation situation to Dar es Salaam dwellers.

2016 – 2018

Umeå University

This research project will focus on use of wastewater in agriculture, and how to prevent the environmental and health-related risks associated with such use in countries with water scarcity. It will particularly address the occurrence and removal of micro-pollutants in the wastewater, by use of two different removal methodologies in our tests; (i) barrier enhanced small-scale decentralized wastewater treatment systems (so called DEWATS), and (ii) soil amendments applied on top of the soil or mixed with the top layer of soil.

2014 – 2020

Centre for Water Resources Research

Aquatic ecosystem services are essential to sustain life, development in all its forms, and the environment. In many areas of South Africa the availability of these services is often limited and, in turn, regulates the nature and pace of social and economic development. The Convention of Biological Diversity through Strategic Goal D aims to Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services with Target 14 specifically addressing water i.e. By 2020, ecosystems that provide essential services, including services related to water, and contribute to health, livelihoods and well-being, are restored and safeguarded, taking into account the needs of women, indigenous and local communities, and the poor and vulnerable.

2013 – 2016

UKZN – Crop Science

Integrating agriculture in the planning and design of low cost sanitation technologies could provide safe and sustainable mechanisms for disposing of such effluent by retaining the nutrients for crop production and releasing water into hydrological systems. Existing guidelines (for pure waste materials and water) focus mainly on the potential harmful effects of heavy metals in water and do not consider the potential benefits of using nutrient-rich effluent from low-cost sanitation technologies.

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