DSpace 7

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 12

Recent Submissions

Assessing the impact of coal mining activities on soils and terrestrial organisms using land snail Achatina fulica as a bioindicator
(2022) Ndebele, D.
A lack of evaluation of soil quality in Zimbabwe's coal mining regions threatens the soil's ability to support biological productivity. Reports from the Environmental Management Agency of Zimbabwe and the Centre for Natural Resources Governance showed that the river (Deka) that flows through the study area was polluted. Pollutants in the Deka River were possibly emanating from land, but there was no scientific evidence. Hence it was important to evaluate pollution on land in the coal mining area. The biochemical response of the land snail Achatina fulica, exposed to soils collected from the coal mining area, was used to assess soil health. The level of selected heavy metals and polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) levels were determined in soil samples obtained from 7 different sites at a coal mining area over a 2-year period (2018 to 2019). Soils obtained from the coal mining area were used to expose land snails acquired from a comparatively pure environment and acclimated to laboratory settings (for 1 year). The coal mining region's soils were determined to be mildly acidic (pH 5.53). Solubility of some metal elements increases when soils are acidic thus making such metals bioavailable and possibly increasing metal toxicity. The concentrations of heavy metals in soil samples from the coal mining area were significantly higher than in control soils (p < 0.05). The concentrations of zinc and cadmium were found to be above the World Health Organisation maximum permissible limits of 50 and 0.8 mg/kg respectively in the study period. Zinc and cadmium had mean concentrations of 164.40±81.82 and 0.97±0.27 mg/kg respectively. Results of regression analysis indicated that cadmium, lead and zinc were highly bioaccumulated with regression coefficients of 0.90, 0.94 and 0.95 respectively. Metallothionein induction in snail tissue often happen upon exposure of snails to certain metals such as cadmium. The highest levels of metallothioneins were observed in snail tissue exposed to soils with the highest concentration of heavy metal levels. The concentrations of naphthalene, acenaphthene, phenanthrene, anthracene, flouranthene, pyrene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, benzo(a)pyrene and indeno(1,2,3-c,d)pyrene in soils from the thermal power plant area were higher compared to soil from the control site (p < 0.05). High molecular weight (HMW) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were predominant in soil samples from the coal mining area compared to low molecular weight polyaromatic hydrocarbons. High molecular weight polyaromatic hydrocarbons are carcinogenic and benzo(a)pyrene is the most potent. The thermal power plant area had the highest proportion of HMW polyaromatic hydrocarbons thus organisms around the area were likely to be at high risk of cancer and mutations. The sum of 14 polyaromatic hydrocarbons (Σ14 PAHs) at all sites was significantly higher than the 1000 µg/kg allowable in soil by United States Environmental Protection Agency. The ratio of anthracene to the sum of anthracene and phenanthrene was above 1 in soils from the disused coal processing area (Site C), active coal processing area (Site E) and thermal power plant area (Site F). This indicated that polyaromatic hydrocarbons in soils from Site C, E and F mostly emanated from wood, grass and coal combustion. There was a general increase in heavy metal and PAH levels from 2018 to 2019. This was probably because the study area is semi-arid hence leaching and runoff was minimal in soils from the coal mining area. Antioxidant enzyme (superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase and NAD(P)H quinone reductase) and xenobiotic metabolising enzyme (glutathione S-transferase and ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase) activities were significantly increased in snails exposed to soils from the coal mining area compared to the control soil (p < 0.05). The high antioxidant enzyme activities showed that the snails were adapting to the effects of reactive oxygen species or experiencing oxidative stress. The highest xenobiotic metabolising enzyme activities were observed in snails exposed to soil from the coal tailing and power plant area. Persistent exposure (45 days) of land snails to contaminated soils markedly increased biomarker responses in land snails. Results showed ii that land snails are sensitive bioindicators and may be used to monitor pollution on land. Further more, results showed that combining biomarker measurements and chemical analysis can be a useful approach in evaluating the health of invertebrates in terrestrial ecosystems and the soil quality. The data obtained in this study can be included in soil ecotoxicological data and used in formulating soil quality management frameworks of the area.
Modelling and analysis of Limnothrissa Miodon population in Lake Kariba with harvesting predation and environmental factors
(2022) Mutasa, F.K.
Limnothrissa miodon, called kapenta locally, is a natural resource which provides Zimbabwean and Zambian communities with protein and is a source of livelihoods to fisherman, wholesalers and retailers. The kapenta catches from the Lake Kariba fishery have been declining and it has been attributed to harvesting, climate change, predation and reduced nutrient inflow into the lake. Studies have been done using regression, surplus production models and analytical models. No studies have been done involving a nutrient, plankton, kapenta and tigerfish food chain as a dynamical system. The aim of this research is to formulate a deterministic, non-linear model of ordinary differential equations and analyse the impact of nutrients, harvesting, predation and lake surface water temperature on the population density of kapenta. Mathematical preliminaries such as positivity and existence of solutions are done. Local and global stability analysis of equilibrium points are done using the Routh-Hurwitz criterion and Lyapunov method respectively. Numerical simulations are done using Runge-Kutta method of order 4 in MATLAB and Wolfram Mathematica. Results show that nutrients are key to the productivity of the water body and kapenta will continue to thrive as long as the nutrient inflow rate is greater than some threshold value. Results also show that the coexistence equilibrium is stable provided certain conditions are satisfied and globally unstable when feasible. A maximum sustainable yearly catch of 34668.59 tonnes is obtained and is within the range obtained by other authors. Optimal control theory applied to a kapenta model with harvesting shows that not more than 505 fishing units to be licensed to operate on Lake Kariba, with 278 on the Zimbabwean side and 227 on the Zambian side and currently there is overcapacity in the lake. Bifurcation analysis of the kapenta model with tigerfish predation shows existence of an Poincar ́e-Androv-Hopf bifurcation with a possibility of chaos for the zooplankton growth rate parameter. Bifurcation type, point, existence, angular frequency, period, stability and direction are determined for some model control parameters. Lyapunov exponents are used for determining stability of periodic orbits and to check for possibility of chaos. Simulation results show that predator-prey dynamics of tigerfish and kapenta show oscillatory behaviour which is ecologically stable and agrees with actual data and therefore reflects reality. Lake surface water temperature was added as an environmental factor to the kapenta model with harvesting and predation. Numerical results show that the population density of kapenta declines after a lake surface water temperature of 30◦C. Warming of the lake has a negative effect on the more palatable Chlorophyceae and this results in a decrease in the density of kapenta in Lake Kariba.
(A)symmetrical conflict between medical doctors and traditional and faith healers in the era of Covid-19 in rural communities of Zimbabwe.
(2020) Chirambwi, K.
The paper examines the tension in the social construction of pandemic by doctors, traditional healers, and faith-based healers and considers the potential public health implications. Methodologically, the author uses a case study of Mwenezi District in Masvingo Province in Zimbabwe and draws on autoethnographic experiences to observe and analyse local level asymmetric confrontations as the Coronavirus pandemic unfolded. What emerges is how values, beliefs and scientific interpretations are contributing factors to conflict, and more significantly, the deleterious impact it has on mobilizing community action against the pandemic. Research findings reveal how untenable and inconceivable it will be to contain the pandemic without paying appropriate attention to apostolic sects and traditional healers. Interventions have so far ignored this social capital.
Relationship between entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial goal intentions: psychological traits as mediators
(2022) Ndofirepi, T.M.
Despite the commonly held view that entrepreneurship education and training nurtures future entrepreneurs, little is known about the mechanism through which this intervention impacts on its intended outcomes. The purpose of this study was to test if selected psychological traits (need for achievement, risk-taking propensity, internal locus of control) mediated the predictive relationship between the perceived effects of entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial intentions. A crosssectional survey of a sample of 308 vocational education students in Zimbabwe was used for this purpose. The results show that the effects of entrepreneurship education variable had a positive and statistically significant relationship with need for achievement, risk-taking propensity, internal locus of control and entrepreneurial goal intentions. Moreover, need for achievement, risk-taking propensity and internal locus of control accounted for a statistically significant amount of variance in entrepreneurial intentions. However, of the three psychological traits, only need for achievement partially mediated the relationship between the effects of entrepreneurship education and entrepreneurial goal intentions. The outcome has implications on the design and focus of entrepreneurship education programmes.
Records and Information Management (RIM) Practices in Pentecostal Churches in Zimbabwe
(2022) Chitima, S.S.; Ndlovu, H.; Phiri, C.
Zimbabwe has, for the past five decades, experienced a proliferation of Pentecostal churches. Some Pentecostal churches or prophets own television channels and social media accounts, which they have used for communication and preaching. In some instances, Pentecostal churches run several projects and church activities. All these activities and operations have resulted in the creation of financial, personal, prophecy and project records, among others. Although Pentecostal churches are not archives or records centres, they stand to benefit if they engage in Records Information Management (RIM). The Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe (AFMZ) and the United International Apostolic Faith Church (UIAFC) both experienced splits in 2018, and this has contributed to information loss and the destruction of vital records. This study investigated the efficacy of RIM practices in the AFMZ and UIAFC and was grounded on qualitative and phenomenological research methods. The target population included pastors, secretaries and treasurers from the AFMZ and UIAFC who are part of the RIM chain. The study found that the lack of a RIM policy, trained personnel and physical as well as technological infrastructure contributed to records and information loss. Pentecostal churches are susceptible to splits. Records or information is usually managed by lay workers (volunteers) with less knowledge of RIM; hence this has attributed to information loss and records destruction. It is thus concluded that RIM in Pentecostal churches remains an afterthought. This study established critical RIM factors that Pentecostal churches may find useful, and which can increase their efficiency and effectiveness in operations and business