Capacity Building for Training and Research in Aquatic and Environmental Health in Eastern and Southern Africa

Capacity development for higher education and research on aquatic resources and food security in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Project title: Capacity Building for Training and Research in Aquatic and Environmental Health in Eastern and Southern Africa (TRAHESA)


The East and South African regions are endowed with large amounts of aquatic animal resources, particularly in fish. Tanzania and Kenya also possess Indian Ocean coastlines that serve as good sources of marine fisheries and aquaculture.

Fisheries and aquaculture production contribute significantly to food security, provide an in important protein source as well as contribute to economic development in the region.

However, there is a knowledge gap at higher educational institutions in the region related to fish health and environmental stressors.

Although African countries have legislations for the management of pollution and aquaculture, they lack knowledge and competence to ensure an appreciable level of pollution control and disease diagnosis and prevention in aquaculture operations.

This lack of knowledge hampers the economic development of aquaculture and fisheries industries in the region, precludes evidence-based policies and decision-making from governments and also has societal implication for food security and the development of rural areas.

Strengthening higher education and research on aquatic animal health for food security and economic development

This project will build competence in higher education and research on fish and environmental health to monitor and protect wild freshwater and marine fish populations which are essential for food security and food safety in the southern African region.

Capacity building in these fields will ensure an expanded, qualified workforce in institutions with solid research capabilities that can educate and train competence providers that will meet tomorrow’s development challenges related to food security and economic development.

The project partners include Sokoine University of Agriculture and the Institute of Marine Studies/University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, the University of Nairobi in Kenya, Makerere University in Uganda and the University of Zambia are partnering with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences to strengthen the development of a qualified workforce in aquatic animal health.

This will help to address the challenges related to development of guidelines, procedures and strategies for minimizing the risk of diseases and improve the quality and safety of aquatic animal resources ad increase the knowledge on fish and environmental health.

Key goals and achievements

Overall goal

Improved food security and livelihoods of fisheries dependent communities in Eastern Africa

The objectives of the project are:

  • To strengthen education and research capacity in aquatic and environmental health in Tanzania through Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Zanzibar through the Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS), Kenya through University of Nairobi (UoN), Uganda through Makerere University (MU) and Zambia through University of Zambia (UNZA) in the Eastern and Southern Africa.
  • A more competent and gender balanced workforce in aquatic and environmental health increased
  • Improved research and education capacity on aquatic and environmental health at SUA, UDSM/IMS, UoN, MU, and UNZA
  • Improved teaching and research resources on aquatic and environmental health at the partner institutions
  • Evidence-based policies and decisions on management of aquatic resources
  • Strengthened North-South and South-South collaboration
  • New knowledge of aquatic and environmental health
Published 24.06.2013
Last updated 16.02.2015

Total budget

2013-2018: 18 million NOK

Contact persons for the project

Prof. Robinson Hammerthon Mdegela, Sokoine University of Agriculture,

Dr. Stephen Mutoloki, School of Veterinary Sciences, NMBU,