Effects of Garbage Burning

Garbage burning has been used many a time in trying to control mounds of garbage that accumulate over a period and where other forms of disposal seem not to be addressed.  However, such burning has negative impacts to the environment and all living species, especially the human species. We know when fire burns a lot of smoke is emitted. We know this smoke becomes part of the air we breathe.  The question is “Do we want to breathe smoke?  What is the effect of that smoke to our health?”  We might be able to endure smoke of burning wood, but what about burning plastic bags, an old cellphone or even an old tyre?

In October 2013, one of the largest dumpsite in Harare, the Pomona dump-site was burning for more than two weeks. This has become an annual phenomenon where such “accidents” do take place at that dumpsite. The satellite image of the 20th of October 2013, available to the Geo-Information and Remote Sensing Institute (GRSI) at the Zimbabwe Technology Center (SIRDC), shows the smoke plume caused by that fire (Figure 1).

 While the Pomona dumpsite is one big annual burning event, the residents of Harare are in a habit of burning their household garbage—plastic bags, old cellphones, etc.--in their backyards or even on the roadside as garbage collection appear to be sporadic. Can this be healthy? 

Climate Technology Centre and Network Workshop

The Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) attended the Climate Technology Centre and Network’s (CTCN) “First of a Kind” climate technologies workshop at the UN City, Copenhagen on 22 and 23 May 2017.

The Assistant Director of SIRDC’s Environmental Science Institute, Mrs Caroline Tagwireyi, represented SIRDC at this important workshop attended by more than 100 participants from over 30 countries.

The participants shared practical approaches (including financial instruments and market incentives) that have worked in their countries to support “first of a kind” climate technologies.

The workshop also focused on identifying local, national and regional needs in developing countries for technology piloting and demonstration and the possibility of South-to-South cooperation for adoption of sustainable climate technologies.

SIRDC Releases Three New Maize Hybrids

The Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) is pleased to introduce onto the market SIRDAMAIZE 115, SIRDAMAIZE 117 and SIRDAMAIZE 119, a follow up to the successful drought tolerant SIRDAMAIZE 113. The new varieties will be available on the market in the 2017/2018 summer cropping season.

Maize production in Zimbabwe is being negatively affected by drought, diseases and pests as well as poor soil fertility. In light of this, SIRDC and its research partners have developed three maize hybrids that have enhanced drought tolerance, nutrient use efficiency and disease resistance. The new varieties have unique characteristics that give them a competitive advantage over other varieties in the same category currently on the market. These maize hybrids are highly suitable for the developing regions of the world, particularly the sub-Saharan Africa, where drought and low soil fertility are major impediments to the attainment of high yields. Currently Zimbabwe is experiencing one of the worst food shortages due to the failure of the maize crop in the 2015/16 farming season.