Natural Sciences

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    Differential spaces, diffeological spaces and fr¨olicher spaces: a comparative smootheology.
    (The University of Zambia, 2019) Chirwa, Hamilton Zaninge
    The contemporary smooth structures that describe the motion of particles on underlying sets through the related specified differential geometry need to be assessed in the sense of stabilising the advantage of working with one or another. Such a study is what we call a comparative smootheology. A diffeological structure,differential structure and a Fr¨olicher structure are each a general-isation of a smooth manifold structure. However, it is known that a smooth manifold is a Fr¨olicher space, a Fr¨olicher space is a subcategory of a diffeology and a Fr¨olicher space is a subcategory of a differential space.In this study we will carry out a comparative study on the three spaces and see to which extent the diffeologies, the differential structure in the sense of Sikorski or the Fr¨olicher structure will be more suited in describing any field of application that require the tools of differential geometry. The method of comparison will be based on comparing, their structures, their topologies and their tangent structures.
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    Temporal characterization of daily rainfall trends in Zambia from 1983 to 2019: a crop growing season perspective.
    (The University of Zambia, 2023) Kapil, Liteta Biggie
    Daily rainfall amounts and distribution are known to be highly variable leading to either low crop yields or total crop failure in some parts of Zambia because many small scale farmers depend on it as a main source of moisture to support the growth of crops. Therefore, this study aims to provide improved knowledge and evidence on current (1983-2019) rainfall trends in Zambia using CHIRPS data with the aim of drawing inferences of their implications on the length of crop growing seasons. The study adopted an explanatory sequential embedded mixed method research design that allowed approaching the study problems from different perspectives. Stratified random sampling and purposive sampling methods were utilized to reach the saturation point. Objective one was analyzed with The Mann-Kendall (MK) test, a statistical non parametric test widely used for trend analysis in climatological and hydrological time series data. Mann-Kendall test is advantageous because it does not require the data to be normally distributed. The Standard Precipitation Index technique was employed in determining the characteristics of intra-annual rainfall variability. Furthermore, qualitative data analysis was performed by utilising a rainfall-based criterion which was earlier used by the Famine and Early Warning System (FEWS). Results show that the average rain season onset dates are 19th , 17th , and 16th of November for agro-ecological regions 1, 2, and 3 respectively. Further, with an average withdraw date of 19th March; agro-ecological region 3 experiences the latest cessation of the rainy season. Trends in rainy season length were found to be declining across all agro ecological regions with the steepest slope on the Sen’s estimator (-0.11) being observed over agro-ecological region 2, followed by region 1 (-0.08) and region 3 (-0.06) respectively. The observation that rainy seasons are getting shorter reflects the late onset that has been found across all agro-ecological regions. In conclusion, the observed decrease in the length of the rainy season translates into shorter crop growing seasons. This is likely to affect the choice of crops to be grown in each of the three agro-ecological regions. Therefore, the research recommends farmers in AER 3 potentially to have multiple harvests in any given season or could easily diversify. However, in the case of the Agro ecological Regions 1 and 2 early maturity crops and establishment of irrigation systems are possible solutions to the observed decrease in rainy season length.
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    Multi-level student peer assisted mentoring (mspam) of computer science female students at undergraduate.
    (The University of Zambia, 2023) Musonda, Chalwe
    The percentage of female students majoring in computer science is lower than that of male students. Computer science has one of the lowest shares of women degree recipients among the broader field of Science and Engineering, with reports of only nineteen percent of the computer science degrees in 2016 been awarded to women. As such, fewer women than men enter the computing profession, leading to a gender disparity in the computing workforce. One way to improve the current state is to mentor female students in the field of computer science at both undergraduate and in industry. This study explored the current state of mentorship programs in institutions of higher learning in Zambia with the aim to develope a structured mentoring program for enhancing the performance of undergraduate computer science female students. The study used interviews and observations to gather qualitative data in order to review mentorship program that the universities are running for the female computer science students at undergraduate. The study found that the informal type of mentorship was used by 35 percent of individual lecturers without being aware of its application and structure. After reviewing the mentorship programs in the universities the results show that mentorship programs were 100 percent non-existent in the Zambian universities. While mentoring was something that would improve the performance, it still however, presented these two challenges, lack of clear definition for mentorship and structuring the program to be used to improve the number of female computer science students. This study has led to Multi-level Student Peer Assisted Mentoring (MSPAM) framework for a 4 year computer science undergraduate program. MSPAM optimises peer mentoring by drawing mentors from other students in different years of learning and organising these mentors into different levels of mentorship. The lower female graduation rates in the field of computer science contribute to continued disparities in which women only account for nineteen percent of the computer science workforce. Offering Multi-level Student Peer Assisted Mentoring would help close the gap.
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    Interoperability model for e-health systems in heterogenous environments: a case study of the university of Zambia health services.
    (The University of Zambia, 2019) Haakalaki, Kingford Mutinta
    Electronic Health Records (EHR) Systems have over the recent years become an integral part of any effective Health Care System. Volumes of data is kept in heterogeneous systems and although continued health care highly depends on knowledge acquired from medical history captured at various points, this information is usually not readily available. The University of Zambia’s (UNZA) Electronic Health Records (EHR) System does not interoperate with administrative systems. This study proposes a model to improve the efficiency of healthcare at UNZA Clinic by introducing an EHR system that applies interoperability with the University’s Human Resource and Student Information Systems at as less a cost a possible. The study was guided by two objectives: (1) A baseline study was conducted to evaluate the performance of the currently implemented modules of the Electronic System at UNZA Clinic to address the first objective. 200 questionnaires were distributed during clinic visits with 150 of them being used to collect data from within University community. Of these, 50 were given to members of staff that benefit from the health services, 75 to students and 50 to the healthcare providers. The remaining 25 questionnaires were shared amongst staff dependents and the community outside the University. Our results suggest that there is need to improve the performance of the current system. (2) A model has been proposed to address the second objective for the design of a prototype with interoperability. In achieving interoperability in an eHealth Records System we proposed a Service Oriented Architecture using Web Services. To this effect, a model has been developed that incorporates mechanisms to help improve efficiency in a health records system and successfully implemented interoperability with a non-health related system.
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    Copying strategies to chronic floods in Kuku residential area in Lusaka district, Zambia: a hermeneutic phenomenology study.
    (The University of Zambia, 2023) Bulambo, Catherine Whitness
    Chronic flooding is one major annual disaster, whose effects have not been sparing the residents in Kuku, a low cost residential area in the urban District of Lusaka. It has been attributed by both natural and manmade factors such as the inability of the residential area to drain water, change of rainfall pattern, increase of built environment without sustainable drainages and poor garbage disposal with emphasis on the non-biodegradable materials. Incidentally, this study entails the captured raw lived experiences of chronic flood victims of the Kuku residential area of Lusaka district from a hermeneutic phenomenology approach study. It was entirely anchored from a qualitative methodology. Descriptive, Hermeneutic phenomenology and explorative research designs, snowball sampling method, unstructured interview guide, observation and a camera were used to generate data from the participants. With the use of a thematic analysis, the study exposed the effects of the flooding which are; victims are sometimes left homeless, affected with waterborne diseases, loss or disruption of welfare, loss of diversity of livelihoods and trauma. It also considered a magnitude of lived experiences from flood victims with three or more annual episodes of floods. The captured experiences and challenges among flood victims included; sleepless nights and fear to relocate, social conflicts, fear of junkies and negative effects of flooded potholes and dug trenches. Despite the severe effects of urban flooding, most resilient flood victims in Kuku have continued to inhabit the area due to the opportunities and limited options available to them and their socioeconomic status. The study reported that flood victims had over time developed copying strategies which help to adapt to conditions of the residential area. These include; the use of sandbags and pouring of sand to elevate the low lying Earth surface areas, dig trenches, build houses and toilets with a high elevation to prevent flood water from flowing through them. Some victims are left traumatized during and after the flooding. To this effect, most flood victims were against permanent relocation. The failure to refurbish dilapidated houses and lack of a reliable source of sustainable financial support system to help them relocate and live in nonprone area expedites the challenges experienced with flooding. Findings indicate that, overall, the raw lived experiences of the chronic flood victims are a reflection of their resilience, vulnerability of the urban low cost residential area to flooding ,the capability of their socioeconomic status to sustain themselves and poor planning of the built environment. The study also recommends that the victims and all kuku residents should holistically implement the following eco-friendly sustainable measures in order to reduce the effects of flooding; personal hygiene, construction of a recycling centre for non biodegradable domestic garbage within Kuku residential area, mobile dumpster, construction of an organic manure centre, environmental education to be embraced by the residents, inclusive area improvement and sensitization programs to be put in motion, provision of garbage collection services by the local authority, engaging proper engineers, increasing drainage systems and advocating and implementing the construction of flushable toilets with septic tanks.