Makerere University has developed the first locally made diesel engine, adding to many other innovations by the institution.
The one-stroke engine can be used for pumping water and generating electricity among other functions.
The diesel power engine was developed by Mapronano & Kevoton Motion Engineering Limited (KMEL) through a series of modifications ranging from wooden external combustion steam engine (Single Atvon 1-5 series) to metallic Internal Combustion Engine (Single Atvon 6-9 series).
The engine is made from local materials, including clay, sand and aluminium alloy, which is rust-free, self-lubricating and more efficient in transferring heat, according Rogers Mubiru one of the brains behind the product.
When ready, this machine will cost Shs 2.5m and enable a farmer to prepare land, plough, plant and weed his or her garden using it.
While launching the innovation, the Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr. Monica Musenero, said the government is moving to make Uganda a science hub.
“The biggest role of science is to use that knowledge to harness nature in Uganda and put those things into the economy. Our students need to be taught as part of the national workforce, not just graduating with degrees but also with products,” said Musenero.
The Vice Chancellor, Prof Barnabas Nawangwe expressed concern about the government’s reluctance to fund local innovations opting to import things that can be made locally.
“The college of engineering has so many innovations, it has so much potential that students cannot simply abandon and go to look for jobs,” he said.