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April 11 2013

Papyrus To Purify River of Blood

Paper made from papyrus plants growing along the Nile River once soaked up the ink of ancient Egyptians. Papyrus may return to service for the peoples of the Nile by soaking up blood before it contaminates the riverís headwaters at Lake Victoria.

In Kampala, Uganda two slaughterhouses discharge approximately 700,000 liters (185,000 gallons) of blood and other wastes into a water channel that drains into Lake Victoria. The rotting blood and wastes pollute the watershed humans depend on for drinking water and fishing. The slaughterhouse sludge also contaminates the complex Lake Victoria ecosystem, which already suffers from sewage contamination, invasive species, and overfishing.

Manufactured papyrus wetlands may provide the people who depend on Lake Victoria with an affordable means of cleaning up that bloodbath.

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