COVID-19: ASRIC to embark on flagship water project

Supreme Desk
24 Nov 2021 11:22 AM GMT
COVID-19: ASRIC to embark on flagship water project
The flagship water project is an inclusive innovation of ASRIC in support of CDC’s recommendations...

The African Scientific Research and innovation Council (ASRIC), says it is set to embark on a flagship water project in response to the numerous challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Mohammed Kyari, an official of ASRIC stated this on Wednesday during a presentation at the ongoing ASRIC congress in Nairobi. Supreme reports that ASRIC is a continental platform that mobilises African research excellence and innovation. It also serves as a forum for dialogue and a voice of the scientific community in building and sustaining continental research-policies.

Kyari said that the project was necessitated by the hand washing hygiene recommended by the Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC). The flagship water project is an inclusive innovation of ASRIC in support of CDC's recommendations, which states that they wet their hands, apply soap and scrub their hands and wrists for at least 20 seconds. It also recommends that they rinse their hands and wrists under clean, preferably running water.

According to the CDC, washing your hands frequently is particularly important to help prevent the spread of the new corona virus. He noted that the council had identified unavailability of clean, safe water in rural communities of Africa, as of one of the major setbacks to the CDC's recommendations in its fight against the pandemic.

According to him, the CDC says that proper hand hygiene is vital to lowering infectious disease transmission, and research has shown that hand washing lowers the rates of certain respiratory and gastrointestinal infections up to 48 per cent. The official said that ASRIC had to come up with the water project which the council had been working on using hybrid means of purification, so that it could be clean for washing hands and also safe for drinking.

He said for about six months now, they have embarked on different stages of a simple means of water purification. They have worked with some scientists on different safe and simple water purification purposes. Kyari disclosed that water purification had passed the testing stages where the moringa, Ultraviolet (UV), and neem methods were adopted, but at different stages some level of alkalinity or acidity were discovered.

He added that at some levels, they also discovered a method to be too costly or too acidic, so they have adopted the moringa method. For about six months now, the council has been working with water scientists to find possible solutions to unsafe water. They are at the stage of perfecting it, putting the necessary parameters in place and would roll out the water project in another six months time.

He said in the meeting, they have experts assembled there to discuss the water issues in the rural areas critically, deliberate and adopt safest methods at solving them. Kyari also said that ASRIC was working very hard to complete its research work on the best hybrid water purification to adopt which would be cost effective and a safe and natural method. He said working on the water project is one of the many ways we have come up with workable solutions to support governments and nations in the fight against COVID-19 and stop its spread.

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