Volume 92, Issue 3

Friday, May 29, 1998

big business



Reform visits London

National Reform Party leader Preston Manning and his party began their national convention at the London Convention Centre yesterday morning but the real fun doesn't begin until today.

The Reform Party's festivities today include good morning ceremonies commencing at 8 a.m., followed by various constitutional amendment discussions.

The highlight of the assembly will take place tonight at 7 p.m. when Manning is scheduled to speak to fellow Canadians. Non-party members who wish to attend may do so at a cost of $120 per day.

– Sabrina Carinci

Not a load of poop

Mike Powell, professor of earth sciences at Western, is taking charge of a five-year project to replenish vast amounts of deforested, nutrient-starved soil in some of India's most troubled environmental areas.

Powell's recipe is made up of three main ingredients which include human feces, leftover ash from coal combustion and water hyacinth. "We're using waste to create resources," he said.

The mixture was first tested in 1991 at Western's environmental sciences field station where trees and grasses were grown. The trials in Canada and later in Orissa, India showed an unexpected success rate. When seedlings were planted in the revitalized soil, it boosted their survival rate from 40 to 90 per cent, doubled their growth speed and produced five times the biomass.

If it is proven this technology is suitable for growing edible crops and the Indian government is convinced of the project's economic feasibility, the potential benefits to India will be immense, Powell said.

– Michelle Demeyere

To Contact The News Department: gazette.news@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998