Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 21

Search results for: Augustine N. Ajah

21 One Nature under God, and Divisible: Augustine’s “Duality of Man” Applied to the Creation Stories of Genesis

Authors: Elizabeth Latham

Abstract:

The notion that women were created as innately inferior to men has yet to be expelled completely from the theological system of humankind. This question and the biblical exegesis it requires are of paramount importance to feminist philosophy—after all, the study can bear little fruit if we cannot even agree on equality within the theological roots of humanity. Augustine’s “Duality of Man” gives new context to the two creation stories in Genesis, texts especially relevant given the billions of people worldwide that ascribe to them as philosophical realities. Each creation story describes the origin of human beings and is matched with one of Augustine’s two orders of mankind. The first story describes the absolute origin of the human soul and is paired with Augustine’s notion of the “spiritual order” of a human being: divine and eternal, fulfilling the biblical idea that human beings were created in the image and likeness of God. The second creation story, in contrast, depicts those aspects of humanity that distinguish and separate us from God: doubt, fear, and sin. It also introduces gender as a concept for the first time in the Bible. This story is better matched with Augustine’s idea of the “natural order” of humanity, that by which he believes women, in fact, are inferior. In the synthesis of the two sources, one can see that the natural order and any inferiority that it implies are incidental and not intended in our creation. Gender inequality is introduced with and belongs in the category of human imperfection and to cite the Bible as encouraging it constitutes a gross misunderstanding of scripture. This is easy to see when we divide human nature into “spiritual” and “natural” and look carefully at where scripture falls.

Keywords: augustine, bible, duality of man, feminism, genesis

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20 Wastewater Treatment and Bio-Electricity Generation via Microbial Fuel Cell Technology Operating with Starch Proton Exchange Membrane

Authors: Livinus A. Obasi, Augustine N. Ajah

Abstract:

Biotechnology in recent times has tried to develop a mechanism whereby sustainable electricity can be generated by the activity of microorganisms on waste and renewable biomass (often regarded as “negative value”) in a device called microbial fuel cell, MFC. In this paper, we established how the biocatalytic activities of bacteria on organic matter (substrates) produced some electrons with the associated removal of some water pollution parameters; Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), chemical oxygen demand (COD) to the tune of 77.2% and 88.3% respectively from a petrochemical sanitary wastewater. The electricity generation was possible by conditioning the bacteria to operate anaerobically in one chamber referred to as the anode while the electrons are transferred to the fully aerated counter chamber containing the cathode. Power densities ranging from 12.83 mW/m2 to 966.66 mW/m2 were achieved using a dual-chamber starch membrane MFC experimental set-up. The maximum power density obtained in this research shows an improvement in the use of low cost MFC set up to achieve power production. Also, the level of organic matter removal from the sanitary waste water by the operation of this device clearly demonstrates its potential benefit in achieving an improved benign environment. The beauty of the MFCs is their potential utility in areas lacking electrical infrastructures like in most developing countries.

Keywords: bioelectricity, COD, microbial fuel cell, sanitary wastewater, wheat starch

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19 Promoting Open Educational Resources (OER) in Theological/Religious Education in Nigeria

Authors: Miracle Ajah

Abstract:

One of the biggest challenges facing Theological/Religious Education in Nigeria is access to quality learning materials. For instance at the Trinity (Union) Theological College, Umuahia, it was difficult for lecturers to access suitable and qualitative materials for instruction especially the ones that would suit the African context and stimulate a deep rooted interest among the students. Some textbooks written by foreign authors were readily available in the School Library, but were lacking in the College bookshops for students to own copies. Even when the College was able to order some of the books from abroad, it did not usher in the needed enthusiasm expected from the students because they were either very expensive or very difficult to understand during private studies. So it became necessary to develop contextual materials which were affordable and understandable, though with little success. The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN)’s innovation in the development and sharing of learning resources through its Open Course ware is a welcome development and of great assistance to students. Apart from NOUN students who could easily access the materials, many others from various theological/religious institutes across the nation have benefited immensely. So, the thesis of this paper is that the promotion of open educational resources in theological/religious education in Nigeria would facilitate a better informed/equipped religious leadership, which would in turn impact its adherents for a healthier society and national development. Adopting a narrative and historical approach within the context of Nigeria’s educational system, the paper discusses: educational traditions in Nigeria; challenges facing theological/religious education in Nigeria; and benefits of open educational resources. The study goes further to making recommendations on how OER could positively influence theological/religious education in Nigeria. It is expected that theologians, religious educators, and ODL practitioners would find this work very useful.

Keywords: OER, theological education, religious education, Nigeria

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18 Major Gullies Erosion Sites and Volume of Soil Loss in Edo State, Nigeria

Authors: Augustine Osayande

Abstract:

This research is on Major Gullies Erosion Sites and Volume of Soil Loss in Edo State, Nigeria. The primary objective was to identify notable gullies sites and quantify the volume of soil loss in the study area. Direct field observation and measurement of gullies dimensions was done with the help of research assistants using a measuring tape, Camera and 3percent accuracy Global Positioning System (GPS). The result revealed that notable gullies in the area have resulted in the loss of lives and properties, destruction of arable lands and wastage of large areas of usable lands. Gullies in Edo North have Mean Volume of Soil Loss of 614, 763.33 m³, followed by Edo South with 79,604.76 m³ and Edo Central is 46,242.98 m³ and as such an average of 1,772, 888.7m3 of soil is lost annually in the study area due to gully erosion problem. The danger of gully erosion in helpless regions like Edo State called for urgent remedies in order to arrest the further loss of soil, buildings and other properties.

Keywords: Edo, magnitude, gully, volume, soil, sloss

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17 Impact of Teacher Qualifications on the Pedagogical Competencies of University Lecturers in Northwest Nigeria: A Pilot Study Report

Authors: Collins Ekpiwre Augustine

Abstract:

Taking into account the impact of teacher training on primary and secondary teachers’ classroom competencies and practices, as revealed by many empirical studies, this study investigated the impact of teacher qualifications on the pedagogical competencies of university teachers in Northwest Nigeria.Four research questions were answered while four hypotheses were tested. Both descriptive statistic of frequencies/arithmetic mean and inferential statistic oft-test were used to analyze the data collected. In order to provide a focus to the study,an observational rating scale titled “University Teachers’ Pedagogical Competency Observation Rating Scale” (UTPCORS) was used to collect data for the study. The population for the study comprised all the university teachers in the three Federal Universities in Northwest Nigeria totaling about 3,401. However, this pilot study was administered on 8 teachers - with 4 participants in each comparison group in Bayero University, Kano.The findings of the study revealed that there was no significant difference in the four hypotheses postulated for the study.

Keywords: impact, university teachers, teachers' qualifications, competencies

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16 A Study of Microglitches in Hartebeesthoek Radio Pulsars

Authors: Onuchukwu Chika Christian, Chukwude Augustine Ejike

Abstract:

We carried out a statistical analyse of microglitches events on a sample of radio pulsars. The distribution of microglitch events in frequency (ν) and first frequency derivatives ν˙ indicates that the size of a microglitch and sign combinations of events in ν and ν˙ are purely randomized. Assuming that the probability of a given size of a microglitch event occurring scales inversely as the absolute size of the event in both ν and ν˙, we constructed a cumulative distribution function (CDF) for the absolute sizes of microglitches. In most of the pulsars, the theoretical CDF matched the observed values. This is an indication that microglitches in pulsar may be interpreted as an avalanche process in which angular momentum is transferred erratically from the flywheel-like superfliud interior to the slowly decelerating solid crust. Analysis of the waiting time indicates that it is purely Poisson distributed with mean microglitch rate <γ> ∼ 0.98year^−1 for all the pulsars in our sample and <γ> / <∆T> ∼ 1. Correlation analysis, showed that the relative absolute size of microglitch event strongly with the rotation period of the pulsar with correlation coefficient r ∼ 0.7 and r ∼ 0.5 respectively for events in ν and ν˙. The mean glitch rate and number of microglitches (Ng) showed some dependence on spin down rate (r ∼ −0.6) and the characteristic age of the pulsar (τ) with (r ∼ −0.4/− 0.5).

Keywords: method-data analysis, star, neutron-pulsar, general

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15 Assessment of Teacher Qualification Status of University Teachers in North West Nigeria; Bayero University Kano in Perspective

Authors: Collins Augustine Ekpiwre

Abstract:

Both the National Policy on Education (NPE) and the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN) gave the directive that all teachers in Nigerian schools should be trained teachers to enable them to be more effective in their teaching responsibilities. This applies to university teachers as well; they are required to acquire teacher qualifications such as Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) or Professional Diploma in Education (PDE) or Technical Teachers Certificate (TTC) or at least, National Certificate of Education (NCE) in addition to possessing academic qualifications in their specialized areas of study. It is on this ground that this study carried out an assessment of university teachers’ qualification status in Bayero University, Kano. The population of the study comprised all the teachers in the university. Data was collected through an examination of the documented official records of the qualification profile of all the teachers in the university obtained from its various faculties. The collected data was analyzed through descriptive statistic of simple percentage and frequency. Based on the findings of the study and in order to strengthen the teacher qualification status of teachers in the university, a few recommendations, for example, special salary scale should be made available to university teachers with appropriate teacher qualifications, were offered.

Keywords: Teacher, university teacher, teacher qualification, university education

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14 Removal of Hexavalent Chromium from Aqueous Solutions by Biosorption Using Macadamia Nutshells: Effect of Different Treatment Methods

Authors: Vusumzi E. Pakade, Themba D. Ntuli, Augustine E. Ofomaja

Abstract:

Macadamia nutshell biosorbents treated in three different methods (raw Macadamia nutshell powder (RMN), acid-treated Macadamia nutshell (ATMN) and base-treated Macadamia nutshell (BTMN)) were investigated for the adsorption of Cr(VI) from aqueous solutions. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) spectra of free and Cr(VI)-loaded sorbents as well as thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) revealed that the acid and base treatments modified the surface properties of the sorbents. The optimum conditions for the adsorption of Cr(VI) by sorbents were pH 2, contact time 10 h, adsorbent dosage 0.2 g L-1, and concentration 100 mg L-1. The different treatment methods altered the surface characteristics of the sorbents and produced different maximum binding capacities of 42.5, 40.6 and 37.5 mg g-1 for RMN, ATMN and BTMN, respectively. The data was fitted into the Langmuir, Freundlich, Redlich-Peterson and Sips isotherms. No single model could clearly explain the data perhaps due to the complexity of process taking place. The kinetic modeling results showed that the process of Cr(VI) biosorption with Macadamia sorbents was better described by a process of chemical sorption in pseudo-second order. These results showed that the three treatment methods yielded different surface properties which then influenced adsorption of Cr(VI) differently.

Keywords: biosorption, chromium(VI), isotherms, Macadamia, reduction, treatment

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13 Exploring Factors That Affect the Utilisation of Antenatal Care Services: Perceptions of Women in Mangwe Rural District, Zimbabwe

Authors: Leoba Nyathi, Augustine K. Tugli, Takalani G. Tshitangano

Abstract:

Use of health care services is an effective way of improving maternal and child health outcomes, especially in the rural areas. The study aimed to find out the perceptions of women on factors that affect the utilisation of antenatal care services (ANC) in Mangwe Rural District, Zimbabwe. The study was conducted in Mabunga village which is situated in Mangwe Rural District, Matabeleland South Province, Zimbabwe. A qualitative approach using explorative and descriptive design was adopted for the study. A sample of ten women were chosen from the target population by means of convenience sampling and data was collected through semi-structured interviews. Interviews and discussions were audio-taped, transcribed and coded into themes and subthemes. The study results showed that access factors, socio-cultural factors, demographic factors, quality of care and knowledge about antenatal care services were the major factors affecting utilisation of ANC services in Mangwe Rural District. It was discovered that the geographical location of the village to the health care centres has a great impact on utilisation of services. All the women did not initiate ANC services as recommended and they also did not adhere to the number of times they were supposed to visit the health care centres. The findings concluded that women have the knowledge about ANC and they all attended at least once during their last pregnancy. However, inconsistencies in attendance were shown due to access, socio-cultural and demographic factors.

Keywords: antenatal care services, women, utilisation, affect, factors, perceptions

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12 Narrative Function of Public Meeting Places in Uzalo Soap Opera

Authors: Michelle Micah Augustine

Abstract:

Soap opera narrative creates a sense of community. Uzalo is a South African local soap opera television series. It is unique because Uzalo tells the story of black people and their everyday struggle centered in KwaMashu township community, which is an excellent example of how moving image culture has contributed in portraying township community that was once marginalized by the apartheid regime in contemporary South Africa. While soap opera importance and promotion of social change and behaviours have been extensively studied throughout history, little research has examined the importance of space and place in its narrative. This study explored the conventional community space and place, the core elements that drive soap opera narrative. By means of qualitative content analysis, the study investigated the construction of public meeting places in Uzalo, using a purposive sampling technique to collect data by choosing episodes. The result indicates that characters convergence in public meeting places in soap opera creates disequilibrium which drives the narrative; reveals that construction of a public meeting place is an important way of creating a minimum of homogeneousness among disparate characters, gives a sense of unified experience drawing on the notion of the particular characteristics or attitude generated from such place. The result shows that the use of camera angles, movements, editing, music and usual tricks (mise-en-scene) applied in the narrative setting function as a guide for viewers comprehension of emotional responses of the story and to connect with the space in which the narrative is set.

Keywords: community, narrative, place, space, soap opera

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11 Exploring the Determinants of Boko Haram Terrorism in Nigerian Security Systems and Economy

Authors: Abara Onu, Augustine Mina Ephraim, Emmanuel Teidi

Abstract:

Terrorism has been a major challenge and is so dare to the Nigerian government in recent times. The actions and activities of the Islamic sect known as Boko Haram had led to enormous loss of lives and properties in the country, mostly the Northern part of Nigeria. Some of these activities entails bombings, suicide attacks, intimidations, sporadic gunfire of the unarmed, blameless and innocent Nigerians, burning of police stations and churches, kidnappings, raping of school girls and women. Nigeria has also been included amongst one of the terrorist countries of the world. This has serious implications for the development of Nigerian economy. Although, Nigeria had made several worried hard work to deal with these challenges masqueraded by terrorism and insecurity in the country but the rate of insurgency and insecurity is still worrisome. The study looks at exploring the determinants of Boko Haram terrorism in Nigerian security systems and economy. Data used for the study work was from questionnaire administered, using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) method to analyse the data. The result shows that Ideology and funding are significant basic factors that propelled the Boko Haram group in Nigeria. The Boko Haram disaster poses a significant threat to Nigeria’s economy and the military is the best option and solution in tackling the Boko Haram menace in Nigeria. The work x-rayed the following recommendations; government should declare war on terrorism and as well seek support and cooperation from international communities who in time or the other might have faced with this kind ugly experience and challenge and were able to tackle it. Nigerian Military needs to be more empowered with high dangerous weapons to combat the insurgency as well as beef up security across the Country to curb the threats.

Keywords: terrorism, economy, Boko Haram, Nigeria

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10 Bioprospecting for Indigenous Ruderal Plants with Potentials for Phytoremediation of Soil Heavy Metals in the Southern Guinea Savanna of North Western Nigeria

Authors: Sunday Paul Bako, Augustine Uwanekwu Ezealor, Yahuza Tanimu

Abstract:

In a study to evaluate the response of indigenous ruderal plants to the metal deposition regime imposed by anthropogenic modification in the Southern Guinea Savanna of north Western Nigeria during the dry and wet seasons, herbaceous plants and samples of soils were collected in three 5m by 5m quadrats laid around the environs of the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemical Company and the banks of River Kaduna. Heavy metal concentration (Cd, Ni, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn and Zn) in soil and plant samples was determined using Energy Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence. Concentrations of heavy metals in soils were generally observed to be higher during the wet season in both locations although the differences were not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Concentrations of Cd, Zn, Cr, Cu and Ni in all the plants observed were found to be below levels described as phytotoxic to plants. However, above ‘normal’ concentrations of Cr was observed in most of the plant species sampled. The concentrations of Cr, Cu, Ni and Zn in soils around the KRPC and RKB were found to be above the acceptable limits. Although no hyper accumulator plant species was encountered in this study, twenty (20) plant species were identified to have high bioconcentration (BCF > 1.0) of Cd and Cu, which indicated tolerance of these plants to excessive or phytotoxic concentrations of these metals. In addition, they generally produce high above ground biomass, due to rapid vegetative growth. These are likely species for phytoextraction. Elevated concentration of metals in both soil and plant materials may cause a decrease in biodiversity due to direct toxicity. There are also risks to humans and other animals due to bioaccumulation across the food chain. There are further possibilities of further evaluating and genetically improving metal tolerance traits in some of these plant species in relation to their potential use in phytoremediation programmes in metal polluted sites.

Keywords: bioprospecting, phytoremediation, heavy metals, Nigeria

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9 Response of Grower Turkeys to Diets Containing Moringa oleifera Leaf Meal in a Tropical Environment

Authors: Augustine O. Ani, Ifeyinwa E. Ezemagu, Eunice A. Akuru

Abstract:

A seven-week study was conducted to evaluate the response of grower turkeys to varying dietary levels of Moringa oleifera leaf meal (MOLM) in a humid tropical environment. A total of 90 twelve weeks old male and female grower turkeys were randomly divided into five groups of 18 birds each in a completely randomized design (CRD) and assigned to five caloric (2.57-2.60 Mcal/kg ME) and isonitrogenous (19.95% crude protein) diets containing five levels (0, 15, 20, 25 and 30%) of MOLM, respectively. Each treatment was replicated three times with 6 birds per replicate housed in a deep litter pen of fresh wood shavings measuring 1.50m x 1.50m. Feed and water were provided to the birds' ad libitum. Parameters measured were: final live weight (FLW) daily weight gain (DWG), daily feed intake (DFI), feed conversion ratio (FCR), protein efficiency ratio (PER), packed cell volume (PCV), haemoglobin concentration (Hb), red blood cell (RBC) count, white blood cell (WBC) count, mean cell volume (MCV), mean cell haemoglobin (MCH) and mean cell haemoglobin concentration (MCHC), feed cost / kg weight gain and apparent nutrient retention. Results showed that grower turkeys fed 20% MOLM diet had significantly (p < 0.05) higher FLW and DWG values (4410.30 g and 34.49 g, respectively) and higher DM and NFE retention values (67.28 and 58.12%, respectively) than turkeys fed other MOLM diets. Feed cost per kg gain decreased significantly (p < 0.05) with increasing levels of MOLM in the diets. The PCV, Hb, WBC, MCV, MCH and MCHC values of grower turkeys fed 20% MOLM diet were significantly (p < 0.05) higher than those of grower turkeys fed other diets. It was concluded that a diet containing 20% MOLM is adequate for the normal growth of grower turkeys in the tropics.

Keywords: Diets, grower turkeys, Moringa oleifera leaf meal, response, tropical environment

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8 Water Reclamation from Synthetic Winery Wastewater Using a Fertiliser Drawn Forward Osmosis System Evaluating Aquaporin-Based Biomimetic and Cellulose Triacetate Forward Osmosis Membranes

Authors: Robyn Augustine, Irena Petrinic, Claus Helix-Nielsen, Marshall S. Sheldon

Abstract:

This study examined the performance of two commercial forward osmosis (FO) membranes; an aquaporin (AQP) based biomimetic membrane, and cellulose triacetate (CTA) membrane in a fertiliser is drawn forward osmosis (FDFO) system for the reclamation of water from synthetic winery wastewater (SWW) operated over 24 hr. Straight, 1 M KCl and 1 M NH₄NO₃ fertiliser solutions were evaluated as draw solutions in the FDFO system. The performance of the AQP-based biomimetic and CTA FO membranes were evaluated in terms of permeate water flux (Jw), reverse solute flux (Js) and percentage water recovery (Re). The average water flux and reverse solute flux when using 1 M KCl as a draw solution against controlled feed solution, deionised (DI) water, was 11.65 L/m²h and 3.98 g/m²h (AQP) and 6.24 L/m²h and 2.89 g/m²h (CTA), respectively. Using 1 M NH₄NO₃ as a draw solution yielded average water fluxes and reverse solute fluxes of 10.73 L/m²h and 1.31 g/m²h (AQP) and 5.84 L/m²h and 1.39 g/m²h (CTA), respectively. When using SWW as the feed solution and 1 M KCl and 1 M NH₄NO₃ as draw solutions, respectively, the average water fluxes observed were 8.15 and 9.66 L/m²h (AQP) and 5.02 and 5.65 L/m²h (CTA). Membrane water flux decline was the result of a combined decrease in the effective driving force of the FDFO system, reverse solute flux and organic fouling. Permeate water flux recoveries of between 84-98%, and 83-89% were observed for the AQP-based biomimetic and CTA membrane, respectively after physical cleaning by flushing was employed. The highest water recovery rate of 49% was observed for the 1 M KCl fertiliser draw solution with AQP-based biomimetic membrane and proved superior in the reclamation of water from SWW.

Keywords: aquaporin biomimetic membrane, cellulose triacetate membrane, forward osmosis, reverse solute flux, synthetic winery wastewater and water flux

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7 Health Literacy for Self-Care by Female Patients Diagnosed with Diabetes at a Selected Hospital in Limpopo Province of South Africa

Authors: Nditsheni Ramakuela, Sonto Maputle, Base Khoza, Augustine Tugli

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Inadequate health literacy can cause difficulties in understanding and compliance to treatment plan. With diabetic condition, self-care activities include behaviours of following a diet plan, avoiding high fat foods, increased exercise, self-glucose monitoring, and foot care. Patients with poor health literacy have difficulty interpreting medication warning labels, following directions on a prescription label and identifying their medications. Difficulties in understanding and performing self-care and health-related activities may ultimately lead to poor health outcomes. The study explored and described factors affecting health literacy and self-care to diabetic regimen by female patients at selected hospital in Limpopo Province of South Africa. Qualitative and explorative research design was used. Female patients who were admitted and diagnosed with diabetes in female medical ward constituted the study population. Non-probability, purposive sampling was used to select 20 female patients diagnosed with diabetes, who were above 18 years and admitted during April–November 2014. An in-depth face-to-face, unstructured interview was used to collect data. Data were analysed using open coding method. Measures to ensure trustworthiness and ethical considerations were adhered to. Findings revealed factors affecting health literacy for diabetic self-care activities amongst patients were; patient, family, disease and facility related. Proposed recommendations were; to strengthen diabetes education and patient-provider partnership. This is important and must be transferred to strengthen self-care activities to fully benefit the patient.

Keywords: compliance, diabetes mellitus, diabetic regimen, health literacy, self activities

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6 Community Participation in Decentralized Management of Natural Resources in the Sudano-Sahelian Zone of West Africa

Authors: Clarisse Umutoni, Augustine Ayantunde, Matthew Turner, Germain J. Sawadogo

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Decentralized governance of natural resources is considered one of the key strategies for promoting sustainable management of natural resources at local level. The rationale behind decentralization of natural resources is that local populations are both better situated and more highly motivated than outside agencies to manage the resources in an ecologically and economically sustainable manner. Effective decentralized natural resource management requires strong local natural resource institutions. Therefore, strengthening local institutions governing natural resource management is essential to promoting strong participation of local communities in managing their resources. This paper investigated the existing local institutions (rules, norms and or local conventions) governing the management of natural resources and forms of community participation in the development of these natural resource institutions. Group discussions and individual interviews were conducted to collect data. Our findings showed significant variation within the study sites regarding the level of knowledge of existing local rules and norms governing the management of natural resources by the respondents. The results also show that participation was dominated by a small group of individuals, often community leaders and elites. The results suggest that women are marginalized. In general, factors which influence the level of participation include; age, year of residence in the community, gender and education level. This study also highlights the strengths of local natural resource institutions especially if enforced. Presently, the big challenge that faces the institutions governing natural resource use in the study area is the system of representativeness in the community in the development of local rules and norms as community leaders and household heads often dominate, which does not encourage active participation of community members. Therefore, for effective implementation of local natural resource institutions, the interest of key natural resource users should be taken into account. It is also important to promote rules and norms that attempt to protect or strengthen women’s access to natural resources in the community.

Keywords: decentralization, land use plan, local institutions, Mali

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5 Changes in Forest Cover Regulate Streamflow in Central Nigerian Gallery Forests

Authors: Rahila Yilangai, Sonali Saha, Amartya Saha, Augustine Ezealor

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Gallery forests in sub-Saharan Africa are drastically disappearing due to intensive anthropogenic activities thus reducing ecosystem services, one of which is water provisioning. The role played by forest cover in regulating streamflow and water yield is not well understood, especially in West Africa. This pioneering 2-year study investigated the interrelationships between plant cover and hydrology in protected and unprotected gallery forests. Rainfall, streamflow, and evapotranspiration (ET) measurements/estimates over 2015-2016 were obtained to form a water balance for both catchments. In addition, transpiration in the protected gallery forest with high vegetation cover was calculated from stomatal conductance readings of selected species chosen from plot level data of plant diversity and abundance. Results showed that annual streamflow was significantly higher in the unprotected site than the protected site, even when normalized by catchment area. However, streamflow commenced earlier and lasted longer in the protected site than the degraded unprotected site, suggesting regulation by the greater tree density in the protected site. Streamflow correlated strongly with rainfall with the highest peak in August. As expected, transpiration measurements were less than potential evapotranspiration estimates, while rainfall exceeded ET in the water cycle. The water balance partitioning suggests that the lower vegetation cover in the unprotected catchment leads to a larger runoff in the rainy season and less infiltration, thereby leading to streams drying up earlier, than in the protected catchment. This baseline information is important in understanding the contribution of plants in water cycle regulation, for modeling integrative water management in applied research and natural resource management in sustaining water resources with changing the land cover and climate uncertainties in this data-poor region.

Keywords: evapotranspiration, gallery forest, rainfall, streamflow, transpiration

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4 Microbial Pathogens Associated with Banded Sugar Ants (Camponotus consobrinus) in Calabar, Nigeria

Authors: Ofonime Ogba, Augustine Akpan

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Objectives and Goals: The study was aimed at determining pathogenic microbial carriage on the external body parts of Camponotus consobrinus which is also known as the banded sugar ant because of its liking for sugar and sweet food. The level of pathogenic microbial carriage of Camponotus consobrinus in association to the environment in which they have been collected is not known. Methods: The ants were purposively collected from four locations including the kitchens, bedroom of various homes, food shops, and bakeries. The sample collection took place within the hours of 6:30 pm to 11:00 pm. The ants were trapped in transparent plastic containers of which sugar, pineapple peels, sugar cane and soft drinks were used as bait. The ants were removed with a sterile spatula and put in 10mls of peptone water in sterile universal bottles. The containers were vigorously shaken to wash the external surface of the ant. It was left overnight and transported to the Microbiology Laboratory, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital for analysis. The overnight peptone broths were inoculated on Chocolate agar, Blood agar, Cystine Lactose Electrolyte-Deficient agar (CLED) and Sabouraud dextrose agar. Incubation was done aerobically and in a carbon dioxide jar for 24 to 48 hours at 37°C. Isolates were identified based on colonial characteristics, Gram staining, and biochemical tests. Results: Out of the 250 Camponotus consobrinus caught for the study, 90(36.0%) were caught in the kitchen, 75(30.0%) in the bedrooms 40(16.0%) in the bakery while 45(18.0%) were caught in the shops. A total of 82.0% prevalence of different microbial isolates was associated with the ants. The kitchen had the highest number of isolates 75(36.6%) followed by the bedroom 55(26.8%) while the bakery recorded the lowest number of isolates 35(17.1%). The profile of micro-organisms associated with Camponotus consobrinus was Escherichia coli 73(30.0%), Morganella morganii 45(18.0%), Candida species 25(10.0%), Serratia marcescens 10(4.0%) and Citrobacter freundii 10(4.0%). Conclusion: Most of the Camponotus consobrinus examined in the four locations harboured potential pathogens. The presence of ants in homes and shops can facilitate the propagation and spread of pathogenic microorganisms. Therefore, the development of basic preventive measures and the control of ants must be taken seriously.

Keywords: Camponotus consobrinus, potential pathogens, microbial isolates, spread

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3 The Double Standard: Ethical Issues and Gender Discrimination in Traditional Western Ethics

Authors: Merina Islam

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The feminists have identified the traditional western ethical theories as basically male centered. Feminists are committed to develop a critique showing how the traditional western ethics together with traditional philosophy, irrespective of the claim for gender neutrality, all throughout remained gender-biased. This exclusion of women’s experiences from the moral discourse is justified on the ground that women cannot be moral agents, since they are not rational. By way of entailment, we are thus led to the position that virtues of traditional ethics, so viewed, can nothing but rational and hence male. The ears of traditional Western ethicists have been attuned to male rather than female ethical voices. Right from the Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel and even philosophers like Freud, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and many others the dualism between reason-passion or mind and body started gaining prominence. These, according to them, have either intentionally excluded women or else have used certain male moral experience as the standard for all moral experiences, thereby resulting once again in exclusion of women’s experiences. Men are identified with rationality and hence contrasted with women whose sphere is believed to be that of emotion and feeling. This act of exclusion of women’s experience from moral discourse has given birth to a tradition that emphasizes reason over emotion, universal over the particular, and justice over caring. That patriarchy’s use of gender distinctions in the realm of Ethics has resulted in gender discriminations is an undeniable fact. Hence women’s moral agency is said to have often been denied, not simply by the act of exclusion of women from moral debate or sheer ignorance of their contributions, but through philosophical claims to the effect that women lack moral reason. Traditional or mainstream ethics cannot justify its claim for universality, objectivity and gender neutrality the standards from which were drawn the legitimacy of the various moral maxims or principles of it. Right from the Platonic and Aristotelian period the dualism between reason-passion or mind and body started gaining prominence. Men are identified with rationality and hence contrasted with women whose sphere is believed to be that of emotion and feeling. Through the Association of the masculine values with reason (the feminine with irrational), was created the standard prototype of moral virtues The feminists’ critique of the traditional mainstream Ethics is based on this charge that because of its inherent gender bias, in the name of gender distinctions, Ethics has so far been justifying discriminations. In this paper, attempt would make upon the gender biased-ness of traditional ethics. But Feminists are committed to develop a critique showing how the traditional ethics together with traditional philosophy, irrespective of the claim for gender neutrality, all throughout remained gender-biased. We would try to show to what extent traditional ethics is male centered and consequentially fails to justify its claims for universality and gender neutrality.

Keywords: ethics, gender, male-centered, traditional

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2 Transcriptomic and Translational Regulation of Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors after Different Feedings in Salmon

Authors: Mahsa Jalili, Essa Ehsan Khan, Signe Dille Lovmo, Augustine Akruwe, Egil Lien, Rolf Erik Olsen, Trygve Sigholt, Atle Magnus Bones

Abstract:

Data from the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries reported that >1.2 million tons of Atlantic salmon were produced in Norway aquaculture industry in 2016. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are one of the key transcription factor families that respond to nutritional ligands. Recent studies have shown the connection between PPARs with lipid and carbohydrate metabolism in aquaculture. To our knowledge, there is no published data about the effects of krill meal, soybean meal, Bactocell ® and butyrate feedings compared to control group on PPARs gene and protein expressions in Atlantic salmon. Fish, 1year +postsmolt, average weight 250 gram were cultured for 12 weeks after acclimatization by control commercial feeding in 2 weeks after hatchery. Water oxygen rate, salinity, and temperature were monitored every second day. At the end of the trial, fish were taken from tanks randomly, and four replicates per group were collected and stored in -80 freezers until analysis. Total RNA extracted from posterior part of dorsal fin muscle tissues and Nanodrop and Bioanalyzer was used to check the quality of RNA. Gene expression of PPAR α, β and γ were determined by RT-PCR. The expression of genes of interest was measured relative to control group after normalization to three reference genes. Total protein concentration was calculated by Bradford method, and protein expression was determined with primary PPARγ antibody by western blot. All data were analyzed by ANOVA followed by Benjamini-Hochberg and Bonferroni tests. Probability values <0.05 considered significant. Bactocell® and butyrate groups showed significantly lower PPARα expression. PPARβ and γ were not significantly different among groups. PPARγ mRNA expression was approximately consistent with protein expression pattern, except than butyrate group showed lower mRNA level. The order of PPARγ expression was Bactocell® > soy meal > butyrate > krill meal > control respectively. PPARβ gene expression decreased more in soy meal > butyrate > krill meal > Bactocell® > control groups respectively. In conclusion, the increased expression of PPARγ and α is proposed to represent a reduction tendency of lipid storage in fish fed by Bactocell®, butyrate, soy and krill meal.

Keywords: aquaculture, blotting western, gene expression, krill protein extract, prebiotics, probiotics, Salmo salar

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1 Evaluation of Oral Biofilm Suppression by Carribean Herbal Extracts

Authors: Ravi Teja Chitturi Suryaprakash, Chandrashekhar Unakal, Haytham Al-Bayaty, Duraisamy Saravanakumar

Abstract:

Background and significance: Oral biofilm formation is a well-known causative factor for caries and periodontal diseases. Scientists over the years have been trying to find a solution against the formation of oral biofilms. Though several advances have been made to understand the microbial ecology and how the bio film survives, it is still an enigma to researchers to find a chemical product that not only can inhibit the formation of oral bio film but also not disturb the oral micro flora required for oral health and not to cause damage to the cells of the oral cavity. One such product that has never been investigated much are herbal preparations. Some of the microorganisms important in the formation of biofilm are Streptococcus mutans, Actinomyces naeslundi, Streptococuss oralis and Prevotella intermedia. The aim of this study was to study the antimicrobial property of some herbal extracts available in Trinidad and Tobago against these pathogens. The significance of this study is that identification of biologically effective plant extracts can result in indigenous development of mouth rinses and tooth pastes that the people can benefit from to not only develop effective but also a cheap solution. Methodology: The extracts from the leaves of Plectranthus ambonicus, Ocmium tenuiflorum, Azadirchata indica, Anacardium occidentale, Psidium guajava were prepared by dissolving them in water. The extracts from the roots of Curcuma longa were prepared similarly and the antimicrobial activity of these six plant extracts was determined by the agar well diffusion method using minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) against Streptococcus mutans, Actinomyces naeslundi, Streptococuss oralis and Prevotella intermedia and compared with chlorhexidine. Results: The six plant extracts showed variable effect on the oral micro-organisms. Ocmium tenuiflorum (16.66 ± 0.44, 14 ± 0.58, 13.33 ± 0.88, 12.83 ± 0.60), Azadirchata indica (17.5 ± 0.28, 14.83 ± 0.17, 15 ± 0.58, 12.83 ± 0.6) and Curcuma longa (16.16 ± 0.44, 13.66 ± 0.88, 12.33 ± 0.88, 11.33 ± 0.67) were found to have highest inhibitory activity against all the four pathogens (Streptococcus mutans, Streptococuss oralis, Actinomyces naeslundi, and Prevotella intermedia) respectively. Conclusion: Although the extracts were not pure compounds we obtained antimicrobial results which determine that they are potent antimicrobial agents. Further derivation of pure compounds from these extracts could be lucrative as it might lead to the development of a cost effective and biologically safe medicine to act against oral biofilms. Acknowledgement: The authors would like to acknowledge the Campus Research and Publication Fund Committee, The University of the West Indies for funding this study and would also like to acknowledge Dr. Leonette Cox, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad and Tobago for helping to prepare the plant extracts.

Keywords: agar well diffusion method, herbal extracts, minimum inhibitory concentration, oral biofilm forming microorganisms

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