Makerere Lands Shs5bn Google Deal to Fight Kampala Pollution

Makerere Lands Shs5bn Google Deal to Fight Kampala Pollution
Image result for Google Artificial Intelligence Impact Challenge 2019Makerere University has emerged among the 20 entities who will aid Google track and monitor air pollution in capital cities and major towns.

The University, under the department of Computer Science will receive over $1.3 million( Uganda shillings 4.9 billion) to finance the move to improve quality air under the ‘AirQo‘ project through the development of  low-cost solar tools and methods that can be used by city and regulatory authorities to do regular monitoring of air quality in urban areas.

The aim of the project is to fund non-profits, social enterprises and research institutions from around the world that use artificial intelligence (AI) to address societal challenges.

Dr Engineer Bainomugisha, the lead research at Makerere confirmed that so far 50 air quality monitoring kits have already been deployed in Kampala and other urbanized parts of the country.

“We are thrilled to be receiving a grant from Google to support the AirQo project that aims to contribute to improved air quality in Kampala and other urban towns. With little resources, we have demonstrated that it’s possible to build and deploy a robust network of low-cost air quality monitors across Kampala city,” Bainomugisha said.

Makerere project representatives will fly to San Francisco for a five-days interaction with the Google AI experts, project managers and the start-up specialists from Google’s launchpad accelerator for the program.

The Google Artificial Intelligence Impact Challenge 2019 attracted over 2,600 participants but only 20 were chosen and will, altogether receive a sum of $25 million, mentoring AI experts at Google, credit and consulting from Google Cloud, and go through a new accelerator program.

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