Home ITCFunding for research in South Africa-Netherlands collaboration research programme (NRF-NWO)

Funding for research in South Africa-Netherlands collaboration research programme (NRF-NWO) Water hyacinths: use them or lose them?

The South African National Research Foundation (NRF) and NWO have funded four projects in the South Africa-Netherlands collaboration research programme. The collaboration is characterised by an impact plan approach focusing on broad societal challenges, is interdisciplinary and involves civil society partners throughout the process. One of these projects is from ITC researcher Marloes Penning de Vries. The University of Twente is also a consortium partner for one of the other projects. All four funded projects within the third NRF-NWO call for proposals focus on exploring the interlinkages between water, energy, food, the wider socio-ecological environment and human health, with a view to improving responses to pandemics, health risks and crises. 

Project: "Water hyacinths: use them or lose them?"

Water hyacinth, an invasive species in (sub-)tropical inland waters, clogs waterways and affects aquatic life and human activities, in addition, it can facilitate the spread of diseases. On the other hand, water hyacinth can be exploited to produce biofuels and other sources of income. A sustainable solution to water hyacinth encroachment "uses" WHY rather than just trying to "get rid of it". This project will use scientific research, satellite data and stakeholder experiences to co-create such solutions for Lake Chivero, the main source of drinking water for Harare, Zimbabwe's capital.

Water hyacinths: use them or lose them? Improving human and ecosystem health by bringing the science to the people of Lake Chivero, Zimbabwe
Project leaders: Professor Timothy Dube (University of the Western Cape) & Dr. Ing. Marloes Penning de Vries (University of Twente)
Consortium partners: University of the Witwatersrand; IHE Delft Institute for Water Education; Environmental Management Agency; Midlands State University; Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW)

Go to nwo.nl to read more information about all four projects

Collaboration between NRF and NWO

NWO and the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) support long-term scientific collaboration. Currently, the collaboration focuses on the Water-Energy-Food (WEF) nexus. NWO and NRF regularly issue calls for proposals and invite consortia in which researchers from knowledge institutions collaborate with civil society partners from public, semi-public and private organisations. Read more on the NWO website