A team of students from Willow International School in Mozambique were named the Best in Sub-Saharan Africa for their investigation into finding an effective and reusable method to eliminate Methylene Blue from water.
The Willow team has been working tirelessly to create and expand an environmental project that could have a meaningful impact on the lives of millions. Their goal is to raise awareness of water pollutants and develop a realistic solution that can be replicated on a large scale in countries outside of Africa.
Methylene Blue is a common water pollutant that can be harmful to human health. The team consists of Carla Zuleca Chissano, Christian Kelven Maússe Zicai, Lucas Machava, Malika Allure De Sousa E Nogueira, Shantel Massula Da Silva and Thumisse Ribeiro Manhiça Penicela.
The students told Carta de Mozambique that conventional technologies used to treat wastewater with dyes are expensive and complex – and they identified the need to find a more affordable alternative to protect our environment and our health. They then tested the effectiveness of using a perennial plant, Pyracantha coccinea, in removing the dye.
The judges were impressed with the team’s project, saying that it was “well-focused”, “clearly laid out”, and “highly relevant to the local context”. They also noted that the team’s work could have applications to solve a real problem in many countries around the world.
The students competed against 150 teams from around the world in the Cambridge International Science Challenge, which recognises students who are developing sustainable solutions to real-world problems.
The team and other Best in Region winners from around the world will now compete for the overall Best in the World award, to be announced in December.