Chanco academics in successful collaborative bid to tackle food and water security
A team of academics from NAREC, Faculty of Science comprising Associate Professors Cosmo Ngongondo and Maurice Monjerezi, Dr Levis Eneya and Dr Mangani Katundu, in collaboration with Prof. Sosten Chiotha and Mr Mathews Tsirizeni of LEAD-SEA are part of a successful bid led by Professor Justin Sheffield of the University of Southampton. The team has secured £5m over four years from Research Councils UK (RCUK) to help improve food and water security for people in sub-Saharan Africa under the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). The project, ‘Building research capacity for sustainable water and food security in drylands of sub-Saharan Africa’, brings together researchers and scientists from universities in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi and United Kingdom.
The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a 5-year £1.5Bn initiative led by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) which operates across a number of delivery partners, including the UK Research Councils, UK Higher Education Funding bodies, the Academy of Medical Sciences, Royal Society, British Academy, the Royal Academy of Engineering and UK Space Agency.
In the official announcement on the University of Southampton website, Professor Sheffield said: “Subsistence farmers across Africa rely on rainwater for their crops, so it is vital not only for drinking and food production, but also as a crucial part of the economy. As a fragile and precious resource, we want to collaborate with institutes in the region to help ensure its future supply.”
The Dean of the Faculty of Science at Chancellor College, Dr Levis Eneya said: “I am happy that staff from the faculty and LEAD-SEA, our research partners, will be part of a rich team of experts that will work to identify sustainable solutions to challenges in the area of food and water security in Sub-Saharan Africa and Malawi in particular”.
Dr Mangani Katundu, the Dean of Research at Chancellor College also expressed his delight that Chancellor College is collaborating in this this GCRF research project. He said: “This achievement demonstrates the continued confidence that various funding organisations and international collaborating partners have in the outstanding capacity and contribution of researchers from the University of Malawi, Chancellor College”.
Over the next four years of the project will further contribute toward improving people’s livelihoods through enhanced food and water security in Kenya, Malawi and Ghana.