Makerere researchers unveil handwater pump for COVID-19 fight

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Researchers from Makerere University have unveiled an automated communal hand water pump that can be attached to boreholes to help eliminate COVID-19 transmission.

The team was led by Dr Nicholas Kiggundu from the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering.

The innovation was funded by the government through the Makerere Research and Innovations fund.

It is dubbed MAKNAI (Makerere University-Mak Naikondo-Vernacular for Borehole).

It runs on a 1.4 hp AC motor at 100 rpm and a torque of 68Nm. MAKNAI fills a 20L jerrycan in 50seconds and has the capacity to draw water from depths of up to 70m

Field tests were done in Wakiso, Mukono, and Buvuma on shallow, medium and deep boreholes

According to the experts, MAKNAI v1.0 is proof of concept that hand pump automation is feasible to help eliminate COVID-19 transmission.

Photo courtesy of @MakerereU.

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