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Bindura, Zimbabwe

Bindura University of Science Education is a Zimbabwean university offering courses in science education, commerce and computer science.The main campus is located 5 km from Bindura town center, with a separate campus which houses the department of computer science on the Trojan Road. Wikipedia.

Nyakudya I.W.,Bindura University of Science Education | Stroosnijder L.,Wageningen University
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2015

Under low and poorly distributed rainfall higher food production can be achieved by increasing crop water use efficiency (WUE) through optimum soil fertility management and selection of deep-rooting cultivars, appropriate plant density and planting dates. We explored AquaCrop's applicability in selecting adaptive practices for improving maize yield and WUE under rainfed smallholder farming in semi-arid Zimbabwe. AquaCrop was first tested using field measurements without calibration. The model was subsequently applied to estimate the effect of effective rooting depth (ERD), plant density and planting date on maize yield. Simulations were done with daily rainfall data for 25 seasons. During model testing AquaCrop simulated canopy cover development well and simulated biomass accumulation showed good agreement with measured values. The model overestimated soil water, and observed final biomass and grain yield were 96 and 92% of simulated values, respectively. Model application showed that increasing ERD from 0.40m at 32,500plantsha-1 to 0.60m at 44,400plantsha-1 increased grain yield from 6.0 to 7.8tha-1, biomass water use efficiency by 20.5%, grain water use efficiency by 23.6% and transpiration water use efficiency by 26.8%. At 0.60 and 0.80m ERD and 44,400plantsha-1, biomass and grain yield, and WUE, were similar. Drainage below the rootzone was ≥40% of non-productive water losses in normal and wet seasons whilst soil evaporation contributed 47% in dry seasons at 0.80m ERD. To improve yield and WUE, we recommend: incorporation of deep-rooting legumes, deeper-rooting cultivars (≥0.60m effective rooting depth) and practices that improve ERD, a plant density of 44,400plantsha-1; and practices that reduce soil evaporation e.g. mulching and addition of organic fertilisers to improve soils' available water capacity and enhance response to mineral fertilisers. Further research should include field testing of results from this study with farmers. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Nyakudya I.W.,Bindura University of Science Education | Stroosnijder L.,Wageningen University
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2011

Maize (Zea mays L.), the dominant and staple food crop in Southern and Eastern Africa, is preferred to the drought-tolerant sorghum and pearl millet even in semi-arid areas. In semi-arid areas production of maize is constrained by droughts and poor rainfall distribution. The best way to grow crops in these areas is through irrigation, but limited areal extent, increasing water scarcity, and prohibitive development costs limit the feasibility of irrigation. Therefore, there is need for a policy shift towards other viable options. This paper presents daily rainfall analysis from Rushinga district, a semi-arid location in Northern Zimbabwe. The purpose of the rainfall analysis was to assess opportunities and limitations for rainfed maize production using 25 years of data. Data was analysed using a variety of statistical methods that include trend analysis, t-test for independent samples, rank-based frequency analysis, Spearman's correlation coefficient and Mann-Whitney's U test. The results showed no evidence of change in rainfall pattern. The mean seasonal rainfall was 631. mm with a standard deviation (SD) of 175. mm. December, January and February consistently remained the major rainfall months. The results depicted high inter-annual variability for both annual and seasonal rainfall totals, a high incidence of droughts ≥3 out of every 10 years and ≥1 wet year in 10 years. Using the planting criteria recommended in Zimbabwe, most of the plantings would occur from the third decade of November with the mode being the first decade of December. This predisposes the rainfall to high evaporation and runoff losses especially in December when the crop is still in its initial stage of growth. On average 5 to more than 20 days dry spells occupy 56% of the rainy season. Seasonal rainfall exhibited negative correlation (P< 0.001; R=-0.746) with cumulative dry spell length, and wet years were free from dry spells exceeding 20 days. The most common dry spells (6-10 days), are in the range in which irrigated crops survive on available soil water. Therefore, they can be mitigated by in situ rainwater harvesting (RWH) and water conservation. The potential evapotranspiration of a 140-day maize crop was estimated to be 540. mm. Consequently, short season maize cultivars that mature in less than 140 days could be grown successfully in this area in all but drought years. However, sustainable maize production can only be achieved with careful management of the soil as a medium for storing water, which is essential for buffering against dry spells. To this end soil restorative farming systems are recommended such as conservation farming, in situ RWH techniques for dry spell mitigation and a cropping system that includes drought-tolerant cereal crops as for example sorghum and pearl millet, and perennial carbohydrate sources as for example cassava to provide stable crop yields. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Nyakudya I.W.,Bindura University of Science Education | Stroosnijder L.,Wageningen University | Nyagumbo I.,CIMMYT Southern Africa Regional Office
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2014

Realising that rainwater harvesting (RWH) improves crop productivity, smallholder farmers in semi-arid Zimbabwe modified contour ridges traditionally used for rainwater management by digging infiltration pits inside contour ridge channels in order to retain more water in crop fields. However, scientific studies on crop yield benefits of infiltration pits have not been conclusive. Combining field-edge RWH methods such as contour ridges with infiltration pits with in-field practices may enhance crop yield benefits. Thus, the objective of the study was to assess soil moisture and maize yield improvement of combining infiltration and planting pits. Field experiments were conducted in Rushinga, Zimbabwe for three seasons at three sites using a split-plot design: main-plot factor, field-edge rainwater management method (RWMM); and split-plot factor, tillage method. Soil moisture content was measured weekly using gravimetric and Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) methods. A household and field survey to establish farmers' perceptions, typology and availability of field-edge RWMM was conducted. In order to share experiences and enhance stakeholders' learning, field days were held. Lateral movement of soil water was measured up to 2m downslope from infiltration pits, hence infiltration pits did not improve maize yield and soil moisture content in the cropping area. Maize yield (kgha-1) was 45% higher under conventional tillage (2697) than planting pits (1852) but the yield gap decreased from 90 to 30% in the first and third year respectively. The value of infiltration pits is in reducing soil erosion by water and growing high value horticultural crops inside and close to pits, a view shared by host farmers and other stakeholders. Planting pits are an option for farmers without access to draught power and a fall-back method. Research is required to determine soil moisture, maize yield benefits and waterlogging risk in fields with underlying impermeable layers that enhance lateral flow of water. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Mudavanhu C.,Bindura University of Science Education
Jamba: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Year: 2015

The increase in flood intensity and frequency poses a threat to community infrastructure and affects the total well-being of children in regard to: access to food, health, school attendance, access to clean water and sanitation, physical and social security. Using both qualitative and quantitative data, this article provided an overview of flood disasters and their potential effects on children's access to quality education in Zimbabwe. The purpose of the study was to analyse school children's specific vulnerabilities to flood disasters that need to be taken into account in policy development. Research indicated that floods cause loss of learning hours, loss of qualified personnel, outbreak of waterborne diseases, high absenteeism and low syllabus coverage leading to children's poor academic performance. Children noted a range of experiences, from food insecurity to being withdrawn from school and sometimes forced into early marriages. These challenges compromise children's rights and access to quality education. This article therefore recommended that a culture of safety be promoted through disaster education, development of good road networks and enforcement of building codes during construction of school infrastructure. Findings also supported the need for adaptation strategies to ensure that the risks specific to school children are addressed. © 2014. The Authors. Source

Mahamadi C.,Bindura University of Science Education | Nharingo T.,Bindura University of Science Education
Bioresource Technology | Year: 2010

A batch sorption technique was used to study the biosorption of Pb2+, Cd2+ and Zn2+ ions onto the vastly abundant water hyacinth weed, Eichhornia crassipes biomass in binary and ternary systems at a temperature of 30 °C and pH 4.84. Mutual interference effects were probed using equilibrium adsorption capacity ratios, qe ′ / qe, where the prime indicates the presence of one or two other metal ions. The combined action of the metals was found to be antagonistic, and the metal sorption followed the order Pb2+ ≫ Cd2+ ≫ Zn2+. The behaviour of competitive biosorption for Pb-Cd and Pb-Zn combinations were successfully described by the Langmuir Competitive Model (CLM), whilst the model showed poor fitting to the Cd-Zn data. In conclusion, Pb2+ ions could still be effectively removed from aqueous solution in the presence of both Cd2+ and Zn2+ ions, but removal of the Cd2+ and Zn2+ ions would be suppressed in the presence of Pb2+. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

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