The community, students and faculty all look forward to Tuesdays at the ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) because this is when the ‘Pitch Tuesday’ sessions are held. Pitch Tuesday is a weekly event that offers innovators a platform to share their ideas, concepts or projects and receive immediate feedback from the in-house multidisciplinary expert team at RAN. This Pitch Tuesday, July 26 2016 session featured two projects Stempower and the Smart Water Meter System.

STEM is an acronym that refers to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics taught in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. The uptake of STEM subjects in Uganda has been low, especially among girls. The Stempower project therefore strives to bridge this gap by empowering girls from the ages of 10 to 12 (when decisions on careers and subject preferences tend to be formed). This project also hopes to guide girls to a brighter future through the wonderful tech world. The programme links young female students with young mentors currently pursuing a career in a STEM subject who include fun activities in their curriculum with the aim to build the girl’s confidence and interest in STEM subjects.

The Smart Water Meter was developed in response to the problem of water shortage and the challenges faced by both consumers and suppliers (National Water and Sewerage Corporation- NWSC) of water in Uganda. The Meter aims at ensuring that accurate flow of water in a household is monitored while offering automated reporting of water usage to the NWSC and its clients. The team highlighted that one of the main challenges of the NWSC is the high-costs associated with disconnection of or reconnection to water services. This meter therefore incorporates the use of a unique valve system that enables water suppliers to automatically shut off water supply whenever water has been contaminated or even when clients failed to pay their bills on time. A software is integrated to the meter to monitor and keep records of the reading taken during usage every month. The software also provides a platform for users to pay their water bills and determine their monthly water usage amount. With this system in place it would become easy for anyone to understand meter readings which would negate the need to have NWSC send their personnel to your house to take the reading as the system automatically measures them. This will address concerns that many households have raised in regards to these visits including whether the personnel are truly from NWSC, readings taken are authentic and clients are not being charged more than they should be paying for.

Keep your eyes peeled for the next week’s Pitch Tuesday!! We can guarantee that there will be more inspiring and transformative ideas and innovations!! To register to showcase your idea or innovation, follow this link https://www.ranlab.org/pitch-tuesday.

Looking forward to not only hosting you for the Pitch Tuesday but also richly contributing to further developing the innovative ideas and prototypes.