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The advantages of applying space-based technology in monitoring and controlling water hyacinth in aquatic ecosystems

Water hyacinth is a well-known plant that has invaded many aquatic ecosystems around the globe. The fast growing nature of the weed makes it challenging to contain. The weeds’ presence in aquatic bodies results in decreased oxygen and nutrient levels, which threatens aquatic life as well as the productivity and functionality of the whole aquatic ecosystem. This not only causes ecological disturbances but evidently socio-economic challenges arise as well as the weed can be detrimental to health as well as economic activities in many riparian communities worldwide. The use of space-based technology together with modern technologies is of great significance in capturing the weed and identifying its spatial and temporal distribution even in hard to reach places. This helps scientists better understand the weed and how infestation occurs which enables better management and control of the weed.

Interview with Ruvimbo Samanga

Ruvimbo Samanga, despite her age, has vast experience in the law, space, and water sectors. She is presently involved in a regional study on the integration of GIS and statistical information in Zimbabwe, working towards the promulgation of GIS standards and legislation to support a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). Ruvimbo is excited by the merging of sustainable development for water management with space technologies because it is scalable, environmentally friendly, and cost-effective over the long run. Ruvimbo feels strongly that space technologies have a role to play in policy and legal affairs, and also sees potential especially in the use of emerging technologies such as block chain, artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing.

Interview with Basuti Gerty Bolo

Basuti Gerty Bolo dreamt of space science and of becoming an astronaut when she was only 8 years old. She then wanted to be a pilot, before studying space applications and space and atmospheric science.  Her curiosity for space science was sparked by an interest in knowing more about unexplained mysteries of things happening in space, such as the cause of some plane crashes. Basuti works exceptionally hard to disseminate space knowledge. She is an Endowed Chair for Educational Technologies at Africa University in Zimbabwe, a UNOOSA Space for Women Network mentor, and is starting a space for women and girls network called Space4Women_AfricaDreamers to spread space awareness and promote gender equality.

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Southern African Research and Documentation Centre

SARDC is an independent regional knowledge resource centre that seek to enhance the effectiveness of key developmental processes in the region Southern African Development Community (SADC) region through the collection, analysis, production and dissemination of information and enabling the capacity to generate and use knowledge.

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