The Rwandan government has a seven-year project whereby the number of firewood users will reduce from 83.3 per cent to 42 per cent. This is expected to happen by embracing the use of cooking gas as a source of energy. According to statistics, only 5 per cent of Rwandans in urban areas use Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) for cooking. It’s an increase from 4 per cent from 2014. Also, an estimated 1.1 per cent of rural dwellers use gas for cooking. Cooking gas is a hazard to fire outbreaks. That is why safety measures should be taken while using it. Innovative Rwandan student invents gas leakage detector to end disasters like fire outbreaks that result from gas leakage.
The Mind Behind the Gas Leakage Detector
Isaac Nishime, a level two student at Integrated Polytechnic Regional College (IPRC) Musanze developed a life-saving system. Together with his colleagues, he made a device that detects cooking gas leakage. It then alerts the homeowner through SMS notification. This business idea was awarded Rwf 1 million by TVET Challenge, a competition for young innovators in Rwanda.
”The system senses cooking leakage and immediately sends an SMS notification to the user’s mobile phone for quick intervention. This will eliminate accidents related to cooking gas, thus will motivate more people to embrace the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas for cooking,” he said. Besides alerting the user via mobile phone, the gas device will have a sound device installed on it. “Considering that the fire outbreak caused by gas is worsened by electricity in a house, the device will also immediately be able to cut off electricity after detection. The system will also manage to stop the gas leakage and thus avoid any fire accident. The device can manage this in not more than three seconds,” he said.
Future Plans for the system
Isaac Nishimwe, the mind behind this innovation, says they plan to export it. The innovative Rwandan student invents gas leakage detector and hopes to spread it across the world. “In the next five years, we want to set up our factory that manufactures and exports the products. I think we will be able to achieve the target in partnership with environmental institutions such as Rwanda Environmental Authority, Rwanda National Police, cooking gas dealers, MTN Rwanda, and others,” he said.
Other projects were awarded during this competition. They include SMART URWINA, a Banana Ripening Machine, developed by Tumba College ICT student. This innovation took the best prize of Rwf 2 million. Others were on environment conservation such as water recycling et cetera.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Soraya Hakuziyaremye said that they will support the young innovators so that their projects can turn into income-generating ones.
Plans to incubate the young innovators
“We will continue to do our best to incubate our innovators so that their project ideas become viable businesses. If such innovations are not carefully followed up, they end up dying without providing solutions to identified problems,” she said.
She added that there’s a need for partnership from Rwandan institutions such as the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Industrial and Research Development Agency, the Ministry for Innovation and Technology. Such will help support the innovative ideas that have business potential.
“We are training them on how they can turn such projects into business and get commercialized. If we are talking about the industrial revolution, it requires technological revolutions like these,” she noted.