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Papers to Practice: In brief - publications on sanitation

In the latest episode of the Papers to Practice Podcast, Dorothee Spuhler talks with Charles Niwagaba about his published article on the microbe-associated health risks involved in using faecal sludge in Ugandan agriculture. This is the second part of the podcast series, which she started with Laura Kohler.

In each of the two thirty-minute podcast episodes, Laura Kohler (CAWST) and Dorothee Spuhler (Sandec-Eawag) present an important paper on the topic of sanitation. The podcast series is called “Papers to Practice”, and was conceived to provide busy professionals in the field of urban sanitation with handy updates on research findings. In each episode, the two experts sit down with the lead author of a paper to discuss the findings, in particular asking to whom they are most relevant, and what the main implications for applying the research in practice are.

In the second episode, Dorothee met virtually with Dr. Charles Niwagaba from Makerere University in Uganda. In his paper, “Assessing the microbial risk of faecal sludge use in Ugandan agriculture by comparing field and theoretical model output”, he examined the extent of the risk of microbial infection for affected workers and farmers, as well as for the consumers of the resulting food product. He tested the faecal sludge for potential pathogens during the various agricultural stages in which it is used as fertiliser. Niwagaba found from his results that the degree of microbial contamination both for farmers and consumers is often higher than the models predict. This is mainly due to additional sources of contamination, such as animal dung. The author’s conclusion is that it is particularly important, therefore, to not rely solely on models. A number of measures could be implemented along the supply chain to minimise the infection risk. Exactly what those measures are, along with further insights from Charles Niwagaba and Dorothee Spuhler can now be heard in Episode 2 of “Papers to Practice”.

The podcast is now available on Anchor, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.

Cover picture: Eawag, Dorothee Spuhler

Created by Yannik Roth