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Figure 1
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Figure 2
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Team 9

Team Members

Faculty Advisor

Heather Boucher
Paul Campbell
Katyland Facas
Trenessa Rioux

Kristina Wagstrom

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Aquaponics in Rural Uganda: Addressing Nutrient Deficiencies

Guiding Light Orphans (GLO) is a nonprofit organization that serves to bring aid to the rural community of Masindi, Uganda. Currently, many rural Ugandan communities are food insecure, meaning they lack access to affordable, diverse, and healthy foods. In fact, from 2001 to 2017 the percent of the population that was undernourished increased by 14% alongside a decreasing accessibility of fruits and vegetables. As a result, many Ugandans lack essential micronutrients in their diet, which can lead to stunted development, especially in children. 

The goal of our project is to design an aquaponics system to bring a wider variety of nutrient dense foods to the community. The design includes fish tanks, a biological filter, a mechanical filter, and nearly 250 grow beds for a variety of plants. Aquaponics combines aquaculture and hydroponics to grow crops in an alternative way to traditional farming methods. The fish waste is converted into essential nutrients for plant growth while the plants filter the water and grow in a soilless closed loop system. A biofiltration system converts the fish waste into bioavailable plant nutrients and is modelled numerically by using concepts from process kinetics. Plants included in the system specifically cater to the local community’s nutrient needs. Thus, this design supports a well-rounded, nutrient dense diet. This project will not only help combat malnutrition, but it could also act as a potential source of commerce.