Researchers from Makerere University’s College of Natural Sciences (CoNAS) will benefit from a 3-year 1,500,000-euro (about Shs6.4 billion) grant titled “dispersal of antibiotic resistance and antibiotics in water ecosystems and influence on livestock and aquatic wildlife” that will be shared among six universities.
The funding, which will come from the Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) on Water, Oceans and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) – is to see researchers look into the impact of the water treatment cycle on the health of livestock.
“The overall aim of is to provide insight into the dispersal of antibiotics, antibiotic resistant bacteria and antibiotic resistance genes-ARG downstream of wastewater treatment plants,” reads an official statement.
“By comparing different geographical/climatic regions, wastewater management practices and types of water bodies, they will investigate the potential influence that WWTPs have on occurrence of ARB and ARG in livestock downstream of the WWTPs.”
Makerere University was represented by Charles Masembe, an associate professor from the Department of Zoology, Entomology and Fisheries Sciences. Other universities that will benefit are National Veterinary Insitute (SVA), Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA), Linköping University (LiU), Estación Biológica de Doñana (Spain), National Research Institute for Rural Engineering, Water, and Forestry (INRGREF) [Tunisia] and Faculty of medicine Ibn Al-Jazzar Sousse (FMS) [Tunisia].
Experts say that there are still major risks associated with the occurrence of emerging contaminants, pathogens and antimicrobial resistant bacteria in water bodies and oceans.
Basing on that, the funder of this grant wants to facilitate the development of multidisciplinary and practical solutions for the provision of safe drinking water and healthy aquatic environments.