Makerere Agriculture Don Succumbs to COVID-19

  • by Rodney Mponye
  • July 2, 2021

Makerere University head of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering department, Prof Noble Banadda is dead.

Banadda passed away on Thursday, July 1 to coronavirus disease (Covid-19) according to Makerere University vice chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe.

Banadda, 46, a renowned and well-published researcher, won the 2018 Pius Xi Medal by Pontifical Academy of Science alongside David M. Sabatini (USA) and Miriam Serena Vitiello (Italy) – becoming the first African to win the award Pius XI Medal since it was first established by Pope John XXIII in 1961.

The award honours young scientists under 45 for their contributions to research and scientific progress. He became a full professor at just 37, making him one of the youngest professors in the country.

Banadda was particularly renowned for use of mathematical models to predict what will happen during the disease outbreaks in tropical Africa.

He co-authored several key publications including; Glucose recovery from different corn stover fractions using dilute acid and alkaline pretreatment techniques in 2017, Reverse engineering of plastic waste into useful fuel products, pilot fieldscale application of hybrid coagulation-ultrafiltration process for decentralized water treatment in low income settings: A case study in Kampala, Uganda. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply in 2017.

Others are Quantification of multiple waterborne pathogens in drinking water, drainage channels, and surface water in Kampala, Uganda during seasonal variation. Environmental Health Perspectives, A review on the potential of Ghana to convert orange peel fibres into bio-oil using fast pyrolysis. Renewable and Sustainability among others.

Banadda was also an adjunct professor at the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Iowa State University (USA) and a senator at Makerere University.

Uganda’s coronavirus deaths are now past the 1,000 mark (1,061) after another 38 new deaths and 1,057 new cases were recorded from results conducted on June 29.

Total cumulative coronavirus cases now stand at 81,034 with 53,551 recoveries. So far 1,333,486 tests have been conducted and 861,645 have been vaccinated.

The country is currently battling a second wave of Covid-19 which has overwhelmed the health system leading to an oxygen shortage crisis and shortage of hospital beds.