During the official ceremony to commission the new director of PAUSTI Prof. Magoma, a group of students were given the opportunity to present their “super hand washing machines to limit the spread of diseases related to sanitation such as covid-19”.
This group of PAUSTI students and an alumnus is made up of engineers from Cameroon, Burundi, Zimbabwe and Uganda, a reflection of the true meaning of working together as Africans to solve Africa’s problems.
Between April and October 2020, they developed a series of solar automatic handwashing machines that will enable community to wash their hands without having to touch the tap nor the soap vessel, thereby, limiting the risk of contamination during hand washing.
Washa Basic is incorporated with a sensor below the tap which detects the presence of the user’s hand and dispenses soap for a second. An updated version named Washa Max is equipped with temperature measurement units and SMS alert technologies to send SMS to designated numbers when high body temperatures are measured. Washa Super was then brought to life with automatic water refilling capabilities.
The Washa Project has been very successful and has been taken to the international scene in various ways. This goes a long way to boost not only the image of PAUSTI, but most importantly, it translates the vision of the Pan African University (PAU): ‘Advancing Africa with African Expertise’. Actually, most of the materials and applications used to develop the automatic hand washing machine are locally fabricated at the workshop. The Washa machines are not only useful during this period of Covid-19 but will be of major importance for personal and public hygiene. Such machines can be used even in the remotest areas of Africa. The team said they were optimizing the design of Washa machines to make them cost-effective; as well as thinking of the possibilities of replicating the machines in various countries.
To quote vision of PAU, we are definitely moving towards “a new generation of leaders properly trained to take the best advantage of African human and material resources, imbued with a common vision of a peaceful, prosperous and integrated Africa.”
As an echo to the PAU vision, the students’ representative closed their speech in these words: “We are very positive we Africans have what we need to solve our problems as well as the world's problems. This can only be achieved if and only if we work together as one people regardless of our regions of origin, skin colour, or tribe. We are Africans and we are proud to be children of the motherland.”