Team:Makerere University/humanpractices

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Human practice and Public engagement

Human Practice

After engaging with different groups of people in our country as we worked on our project, we were looking for what kind of effects our final product would have to the entire country population especially with people in the targeted communities besides plastic degradation. As we did extended research, we found out other different fashions people have been using to get rid of the plastics.

However all the methods being used are more hazardous to the environment compared to ours but ours though being more convenient to the environment we found out that it may be expensive compared to the local methods being employed including combustion of plastics. We decided to extend our research to the government officials and we found out that it can taken up by the government and executed. Also we wanted to know the perceptions of people on the used bacteria and we found out though people think it can be of great danger as they think it is just like other bacteria, we labored to explain how we will be able to control it with in the means of its purpose

Basing on the above information as we were looking for the answers,we consulted Professor Venard Nantulya who heads the Department of plastic waste management at Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) and he advised us that our project was a great innovation which can be conducted on a large scale to help the country get rid of large quantities of plastic waste and he assured us that UIRI is ready to provide us with support for large scale manufacture of the bacteria.

The team consulted the Managing director, Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) about the effects of plastic waste in the capital city whose concern was about the increasing disposal of plastic wastes in the water channels and he continued by advised us to go ahead with the project since it could be a great solution for the city.

The team also engaged with one of the mostly affected suburbs in Kampala city called Bwaise where the residents were much worried about the increasing disposal of plastic wastes into the water channels which resulted into clogging that leads into flooding during rainy seasons which brings a threat of water-associated diseases like Cholera and Malaria.
There were happy and welcomed our solution and encouraged us to go ahead wit the project.

The team also had a brief engagement with the technician in charge of Environmental Health in National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) who expressed his concern about the current methods used in degrading and recycling plastic wastes which lead to environmental pollution.
He welcomed our project and promised that they will be of support where necessary.

Public Engagement

IGEM Makerere conducted on seminars and public presentations in synthetic biology around the university and other institutions. The Team organised weekly seminars at the College where we expressed our idea for the project and we introduced synthetic biology as a novel science which is intended to solve challenges in the environmental health for both animals and humans.

Through these seminars we were able to achieve our goal of extending synthetic biology to the public, most of the attendees welcomed this science and saw it interesting and more practical.
The team also managed to present at the 7th Annual scientific and cultural BOMA at the College Of Veterinary Medicine Animal Resources and Biosecurity (COVAB) , Makerere University which was attended by scientists from different instutions and here we were also able to showcase our OT-2 robot from Opentrons and demonstrated how it is operated.
The team was also invited to attend the conference at the Uganda Virus Research Institute on the 26th of July, 2018 where we were able to present about our project and synthetic biology and how it can solve the challenges in our daily lives.