A week before the volunteer group were heading to Kenya, a cyclone hit the school causing mass flooding. This halted the project for a couple of days, and was a good test of whether the structure could withstand the extreme weather… safe to say it did!
The beams of the eco-toilet structure were constructed at such a rapid speed! Over the period of a few weeks, the land was dug out in preparation for the structure and local workers were employed to work on the construction phase. It is essential that we can construct the toilets at a rapid speed for future use in deployment in disaster zones and lower economic communities.
This is the first chance we had to see the size of the structure and the next stage of the project…
Researchers from Bristol University are now working with Akamba Children Education Fund, installing microbial fuel cell technology to generate electricity from urine. This is a massive step in the project, as we will now be generating power from both urine and poo. The microbial fuel cells work by feeding on urine (the fuel) using the biochemical energy that is generated and converted directly into electricity. All that is needed to generate this power is the waste product, making it a sustainable green technology solution. The combination of biogas production, and using microbial fuel cells to use urine and mud to generate power makes the project unique.
Win your own garden BioBlitz!
Alongside the 2018 Great Wildlife Expedition (at Hengistbury Head on June 9th), Hengistbury Head are offering you the chance to have a BioBlitz in your own garden!
The winner of our Great Wildlife Garden Competition will have a team of experts take over their outdoor space on June 16th.
Using detectors, hand lenses and lots of books, the team will identify bats, mammals, moths, birds and plants that live in, or visit your garden. You will be able to spend time with the team and learn the difference between the species that thrive on the work you have done to make your garden a place for nature.
The team will show you where to go to record your finds, adding these species to Bournemouth’s wildlife map. There will also be a talented local film maker who will capture the day, the activities and the excitement of identifying the plants and creatures that live in your garden.
To enter, use the entry form to tell us about your garden, your household, and any wildlife that you have seen in, or nearby, your garden. Please send your entry via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Closing date: 30th April 2018 (Winner will be chosen by the Hengistbury Head Ranger team)
On a rainy Monday (05/03/2018) in Kenya, 1000 litres of cow manure arrived on site in barrels and ready to be put into action. The anaerobic biodigester depends on a series of biological processes in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. One of the end products is biogas, which will be combusted to generate electricity and heat for the school. We’re using the manure to kick start the biodigesters in the green toilets which will allow us to convert human waste into biogas.
Along with the arrival of the manure, work on site is making steady progress. The foundations for the structure are now underway which will hold the steel frame structure in place. The skeleton assemblage of the structure has also began, with steel beams being welded together off site. The next step is to get the structure to the site…
Bournemouth University (www.bournemouth.ac.uk) and The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (www.gwct.org.uk) are recruiting a high calibre PhD researcher to work on a three year fully funded studentship investigating changes in the migrations of Atlantic salmon in relation to factors including climate change, with an emphasis on how changes in smolt migrations are impacting survival to spawning adults.
The study will develop flexible multistate state-space mark-recapture models to quantify and then investigate correlates of Atlantic salmon marine survival using data collected on the river Frome, Dorset UK, with the intention of generalising findings to other rivers in Europe.
The successful candidate will have a strong numerical background and some knowledge of salmonids.
Although the student will be registered at Bournemouth University, they will spend up to 2/3 of their time at the FBA River Laboratory in rural Dorset: https://www.fba.org.uk/the-river-laboratory
Deadline: 11th March 2018
Entry requirements: A 1st class honours degree and/or a relevant Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent
(This PhD opportunity is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Channel VA Programme and is part of project SAMARCH (www.samarch.org))
‘Poole Harbour provides both for a diverse ecology and a productive maritime economy. The Harbour is exceptional in the extent to which it illustrates the interface between environment and economics in the coastal zones of North West Europe. Positioned at the eastern end of the “Jurassic Coast” World Heritage Site, the entire Harbour has various conservation designations while at the same time providing for commercial shipping, motor yacht manufacture, fishing & aquaculture, tourism, a military base, and a range of other significant maritime industries. It also lies over an oil field, receives effluent from both a large conurbation and an agricultural catchment, and supports a variety of recreational activities, not least sailing and angling. These features along with the intensity with which they interact make Poole Harbour a powerful case study for the elucidation of sustainable development in practice.
Thirteen years ago the Poole Harbour Study Group held a conference which resulted in the book The Ecology of Poole Harbour. This 2018 conference aims to expand the scope of that and last year’s Marine Protected Areas conference, by examining the relationship between the environment and the economy which it supports.
The conference is part of the Poole Maritime Festival and among the events during the day Borough of Poole council will present key findings from their forthcoming marine supply chain mapping report.
Presentations (15 minutes), mini-presentations (3 minutes) and posters may examine any aspect of the Harbour environment and/or its maritime economy. Particularly welcome are contributions which engage with the interactions between the two, whether from business, policy, or conservation perspectives. Presentations may also cover aspects of the river catchment or Poole Bay which have direct implications for the Harbour itself. Contributions subsequently written up will be published in proceedings
For further general information please contact the Conference Secretary Dr Alice Hall A.Hall@bournemouth.ac.uk.
To submit, a presentation or poster proposal, please send a 50 word summary to PHSG Chair, John Humphreys (email email@example.com), who would also be happy to provide advice on any early stage presentation idea.
Poole Harbour Study Group has been encouraging and disseminating objective research on Poole Harbour for over twenty-five years. Members include all the main statutory organisations along with universities, NGOs and commercial enterprises.’
(Environment Agency, Dorset Wildlife Trust, IFCA, Phc)
Over the last couple of weeks, local workers in Kenya have been busy completing the new foundation walls in preparation for the toilet structure. This include tonnes or material being moved and flattening to create a level surface suitable to withstand the two tier shipping container unit and 5000l+ water tanks. Ensuring that the surrounding walls are secure is integral to the whole structure, not only for the functionality but also to make the toilets a safe environment for the students and teachers within the community to use. Now that this stage has been completed, work can now begin on building foundations of the toilet structure itself.
The images below showcase a few 3D model stills (using Sketchup) which were created by one of the eco-toilet team. The model highlights the scale of the project with different angles of the structure. This is the first idea of how the structure will look like once completed. The front of the unit will feature a mural themed around environmental conservation. Bournemouth University Research Associate Katie Thompson will lead this with the help of two undergraduate students.
Over the last week (February 2018), the ‘Sustainable Green Toilet Project’ has begun in Kenya, where excavations have been completed and foundations are now being built. Bournemouth University Research Associate Katie Thompson from the Department of Life and Environmental Sciences (SciTech) is working alongside ACEF (Akamba Children’s Education Fund) charity volunteers and BU students to build the new toilet facility for 800 school children who attend and live at the Brainhouse Academy, in Nairobi, Kenya.
The newer, cleaner toilet facilities will feature a bio digester energy recovery system producing biogas for the school and liquid fertiliser. Innovative research will also be investigated into at this location, including utilising energy from microbial life forms to generate electricity. Katie and the students will be travelling to Kenya in March this year to continue to work on the project.
If you would like to know more about the project and keep up to date with any progress, then contact Katie Thompson on firstname.lastname@example.org or Genoveva Esteban email@example.com.