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Innovations: Ugandan Student Upgrades Tear Gas, Calls For Funding

A 23 year old and also a fourth-year student of Bachelor of Science (Chemistry and Botany),Samuel Mugarura has been recognised for his interesting tear gas innovation.

For this Makerere University undergraduate, inspiration stemmed from the moment he picked up a worn-out tear gas canister that was used by the Uganda Police Force to rein in the angry students.He discovered that the ingredients used such as phenacyl chloride, bromoacetone, synpropanethial-S-oxide and pepper spray are dangerous to the eyes.

He thus embarked on developing a simple way of making tear gas with trouble-free products like salt, hot pepper and sugar.

Mugarura revealed that right from the onset of his project, he has been backed up by the great support from his fellow students, family members and lecturers.

However, he has called on Makerere University and the government, especially the Directorate of Industrial Training, to push for increased funding to student research, practicals and innovations rather than theory as a means to boast students’ skills and talent. He argues that this would enable new innovations and research to make a positive impact on the science and technological developments in the country.

“Government should come up and invest in innovation because it influences strategic planning which leads to wealth creation for the students and the economy,” Mugagura said, adding that in so doing, it would allow the country to improve on technological developments.

He noted that superpower countries like America, China and Russia have greatly transformed partly because of the input of widespread support to innovators like Leonardo Da Vinci, Bill Gates and Nikola Tesla who helped change the world.

Mugarura’s projects use chemical byproducts that can be used as manure, residues like pesticides, herbicides, fumigation chemicals, and chemical acaricides for spraying domestic livestock. He remarks that the chemical byproducts can offer a lot for the country in terms of reduced import dues.

He says his target is far bigger; including generating energy for a millennium and making a nuclear bomb that will make Uganda great and gain a place as a world superpower.

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