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KDC, BIUST mulls partnership to aid Kweneng communities

KDC, BIUST mulls partnership to aid Kweneng communities

Kweneng District Council (KDC) has recently visited the Botswana International University of Science and Technology to explore possibilities of partnership that seeks to address environmental challenges bedevilling the District Council. When speaking at the meet, the BIUST Vice Chancellor, Professor Otlogetswe Totolo gave a dignified welcome to the Deputy Council Secretary Mr. Erick Sammy Puskas and his entourage. He shared a brief background of the University establishment, its governance and management, the fundamental purpose of its founding, and how it benefits the local community and communities in its environs.
He noted the vision of his institution is to drive cutting-edge research and innovation in science, engineering and technology and propel industry growth, development and advancement of a diversified knowledge-based economy and society.

He urged the honourable members to come up with ways in which they can aid to expand the country’s economy while growing international partnerships in the process. BIUST has a BOTS SAT 1 (Satellite), a multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral project which spans almost all academic fields, hence being fundamental for the continuity of such collaboration, career progress, and sharing knowledge and ideas from research to experimentation and market.

It also prides in its Pyrolysis Plant, which turns coal into oil, tar and soap products using local material, and the Palapye based university has also produced an Antimicrobial Toilet Seat Mat among other commercial attractiveness projects.  “Revenue generation is not the only place of interest for this institution. BIUST also cares about imparting skills and knowledge to the young generation to ensure continuity of science and technology. It has established Pre-University Academic Programmes (PUAP)to promote Social Responsibility” Professor Totolo noted.

He shared the PUAP’s initiatives, which include the BIUST circuses programme,
BIUST STEM Festival, BIUST schools’ visitation programme and the Inquiry-
Based Science Education project with the visiting honourable members of
Kweneng District Council.

For his part, the Kweneng District Deputy Council Secretary, Mr Puskas acknowledged the presentation by the Vice Chancellor and envisioned a clear path for collaboration between his council and BIUST. He lamented that his district was faced with various challenges that he believed BIUST was armed with the capacity to alleviate.

He noted numerous schools in his district were infested with bats in their classroom ceilings, which poses health hazard and a threat to the pupils and their educators. He pleaded with Professor Totolo and his team to assist in the battle against the uncontrollable and spontaneous fire outbreaks that bedevil the Gamodubu Regional landfill. Mr. Puskas said other challenges at his district include faults in streetlights, faecal pollution, excessive production of methane, and hydrogen sulphate and phosphine gases, which are all harmful to the environment and its inhabitants.

“There is a need to come up with an environmentally friendly method for the recycling waste tyres, for example pyrolysis and produce paving material and derive fuel that can be utilized to power incinerators,” the district deputy council secretary said.

In closing, the Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor for Research, Development and Innovation, Professor Ochieng Aoyi, appreciated the Kweneng District Council members for having taken the time to visit BIUST. He said an alliance between the two parties could go a long way, as they share a common mandate, which is to solve community
problems. The visitation concluded with a tour of the university, where the Vice Chancellor led the visitors to the BOTS SAT 1 Site, Faculty of Science, and the Faculty of Engineering and