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Soil Power

News   Hazviperi Mbizi   February 1, 2019
PIC: Students showcasing the earth battery
A group of Polytechnic Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering third year students have invented an earth battery which is produced from soil and water.

According to one of the group members Chikumbutso Walani, the battery can power torches, phones and light bulbs.

“This battery was made from locally available materials like dragon cane, water, soil and a little bit of copper,” Walani explained.

The Electrical Engineering Lecturer Million Mafuta commended the students for coming up with such an affordable and creative invention which he says could help in the rural areas in terms of power generation.

Commenting on this invention, a second year Geological Engineering student, Fedson Mwadala described it as an innovation of a lifetime which amazed him about the use of locally available resources.

Bachelor of Electronics and computer engineering students, Yamikani Mphoola, Sheriffa Issa and an Electrical Engineering student Khumbo Malikebu, also commended the group for coming up with a power creation source which is produced from cheap material like soil. They also applauded the team work and dedication which the group has shown in this project.

After noticing the effort and creativity of these students who have formed a company called Beltech, an associate lecturer and a Manufacturing systems and Consultant in product design and development, Waheed Mia, decided to support the project to scale up the prototype to a product which would be marketable and put Malawi on the map.

“What these students need is a push by mentoring them on how the product could be improved to a point where organizations and individuals could fund it to a commercial product,” Mia explained.

He further explained that, he has seen that students have brilliant ideas but they lack extra expertise and mentorship from experts.

“I came across this invention of the earth battery which is a brilliant idea. It is very effective especially in the remote areas because sand is locally found. Therefore, I decided to sponsor them, help them with design issues and material selection. I am also trying to support them with funding to invest in the product and connect them to appropriate organizations,” he elaborated.

He also urged the college and other stakeholders to join in funding and sponsoring these kinds of innovations by students.

The group comprises of three Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering students namely; Chikumbutso Walani, Elizabeth Kananji, Isaac Katemecha and Business Administration student, Blessings Mwasikakata.

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