Meet the individual on a mission to scrub up Africa’s air using AI.


Engineer Bainomugisha and his workforce at Makerere School are combating air pollution in Kampala, Uganda, using air sensors and the transformative vitality of AI.

For Engineer Bainomugisha and the Makerere School workforce, grantees of the Google AI Impression Downside, the streets of Uganda may keep the vital factor in tackling air pollution all through Africa.

‘I’m a bit obsessive about air’, says Engineer Bainomugisha as he fixes a small, black discipline to the once more of a bike taxi inside the bustling capital metropolis of Kampala, Uganda. To the untrained eye, this may occasionally more and more look like a fairly unusual discipline, nevertheless, this contraption is getting used to coping with dangerous air pollution ranges on Kampala’s metropolis streets. Combined with AI, it has the potential to reinforce the lives and air top quality for 1000’s and 1000’s of people all through Uganda.

9 out of 10 of us breathe unclean air worldwide. Sadly, that’s principally occurring in low-income nations. That’s the place we can be found in.’

Engineer Bainomugisha

Rising up in rural Uganda, Engineer first encountered the air air pollution coping with Kampala when he travelled 300 km from his family residence to evaluate computer science at Makerere School inside the nation’s capital. With a pure passion for experience, he often woke inside the early hours of the morning to practise writing software program on certainly one of many few pc techniques in his school’s lab. Little did he know that sometime he’d use what he had learnt to help of us greater defend themselves from air pollution in Kampala and previous.

The engineer now heads up the Division of Laptop computer Science on the same school and leads their pioneering AirQo enterprise – an initiative that mixes human ingenuity, AI fashions and packing containers filled with air monitoring experience to predict air pollution patterns in Kampala.

Engineer building a sensor in his lab at Makerere UniversityThe team installing a sensor on a rooftop in Kampala
The team installing a sensor on a motorbike known as a boda bodaPhoto taken of Engineer Bainomugisha at Makerere University
Engineer Bainomugisha of the Makerere University.
Engineer and a teammate installing a sensor on a rooftop in busy Kampala

Along with a faithful workforce of students, Engineer installs air sensors on excessive of buildings and the backs of motorcycle taxis – commonly known as boda bodas and certainly one of many metropolis’s commonest forms of transportation – to assemble air pollution data from in all places within the metropolis. The workforce then makes use of cloud-based AI software program program to analyse air particle data in real-time and predict native air pollution. These forecasts provide Kampala’s communities a possibility to chop again their risk of publicity and are being utilized by authorities companies to reinforce air top quality on the underside.

Engineer and the workforce at Makerere School are one amongst 20 organisations chosen from larger than 2,600 candidates to acquire a grant by means of the Google AI Impression Downside: the initiative to help nonprofits, startups and researchers use the power of AI to deal with social and environmental challenges. Via this programme, the Makerere workforce moreover acquired instructing and mentorship from Google and DeepMind AI specialists over the course of a 9-month AI accelerator.

The Team at Makerere University

Whereas the neighbourhood of air sensors presently crisscrosses Kampala on the once more of boda bodas, Engineer hopes that sometime this experience will in the reduction of air air pollution on streets all through the continent, so that this know-how and the following will know what it means to breathe current air.