Research Articles (Centre for Environmental Management)

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  • ItemOpen Access
    With the continuing increase in Sub-Saharan African countries, will Sustainable Development Goal 1 ever be achieved by 2030?
    (MDPI, 2022) Atangana, Ernestine
    The poor in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are in a worse predicament than their counterparts in other regions. The goal of this study was to establish the key drivers of poverty in SSA by looking at how economic variables affect growth and poverty. Data from ten SSA nations—upper-middle-income countries (UMIC), lower-middle-income countries (LMIC), and low-income countries (LIC)—were analyzed based on historical values from 2015 to 2019. From the six economic variables studied, the best model reveals that 78% of the differences in poverty can be accounted for using a methodical, statistical approach. Poverty and unemployment rates have a substantial positive relationship (p = 0.001662). The gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate and poverty have a slight link, which is significant at the 10% level (p = 0.067) but is not a significant contributor to poverty alleviation. The secondary school enrolment rate has no bearing on poverty variation (p = 0.33). Increased GDP does not necessarily correspond to poverty reduction. Unemployment, on the other hand, is a major contributor to poverty in the region. Moreover, education (secondary school ennoblement) plays a less important role in reducing poverty, whereas per capita personal consumer spending and GDP growth rate have a bigger impact on poverty reduction. The proposed theoretical and numerical model works on general indicators and trends; it does not guarantee that people in the UMIC, LMIC, and LIC countries may not fall below the international poverty line ($1.90 per day). The poverty rates are predicted to climb by more than 2% by 2030, postponing poverty elimination in the SSA region by almost five years. This signifies that more than half of the SSA population will remain poor.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Effectiveness of cattle dung biogas digestate on spinach growth and nutrient uptake
    (Elsevier, 2022) Tshikalange, Bridget; Ololade, Olusola; Jonas, Chipa; Bello, Zaid A.
    New farming techniques should be introduced to improve yield quality and quantity while taking preservation of the environment into consideration. This study investigated effectiveness of cattle dung biogas digestate on spinach growth and nutrient uptake. Spinach was grown with cattle dung biogas digestate (BD), inorganic fertiliser (IF) and unfertilised control (CO) treatments under complete randomised design field conditions. Spinach planted under BD showed significantly higher growth in terms of plant height and number of leaves compared to spinach under CO and IF. A linear relationship between leaf numbers and leaf area index (LAI) (R2 0.691, p <0.0001) was established for the study. Cattle dung biogas digestate (BD) plants produced significantly the longest roots followed by IF plants. The IF plants produced more biomass per rooting depth (0.85 g cm 1) than BD (0.61 g cm 1) and CO (0.35 g cm 1). Regarding macronutrient content of the spinach leaves, significant differences were only observed for potassium (K) in the order of IF (8.6 g kg 1), BD (6.8 g kg 1), and CO (6.7 g kg 1). Significantly higher amounts of zinc (Zn2þ) accumulated in spinach leaves under BD compared to IF and CO. Fertilising spinach with BD improves growth and development just as much as IF. Additional benefits include improving nutrient content of the spinach, assisting with environmental preservation and decreasing production cost.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Developing and enforcing fracking regulations to protect groundwater resources
    (Nature Research, 2022) Esterhuyse, S.; Vermeulen, D.; Glazewski, J.
    Unconventional oil and gas (UOG) extraction can augment energy supplies in countries with viable gas resources, but it risks damaging water resources. Water supply problems for fracking can also limit UOG extraction, especially in water-stressed regions. Regulations are one of the main tools used to minimize UOG extraction impacts on water resources. Many states in the US and Canada have extensive regulations to protect water resources during UOG extraction but they are often ineffective, either because they were poorly drafted or because they are not properly enforced. South Africa is a water-scarce, groundwater-dependent country that is considering UOG extraction in the future. South African groundwater experts were surveyed on what regulations are needed to protect groundwater resources and how to enforce them. This study recommends specific UOG extraction regulations to protect groundwater resources, which are not only relevant to South Africa, but also to other countries that extract UOG resources.