Two Rwandan teenagers have joined a list of respected young innovators after wining a regional science, technology, engineering and mathematics contest recently held in Uganda.
17-year-olds Miriam Nsekonziza and Precious Nyabami of Fawe Girls School were thrilled when they were informed of their journey to Uganda by air for the first time.
Out of 10 schools from East Africa that participated in the competition, a study on how to tap rainwater from rooftops for domestic use by Ms Nsekonziza and Ms Nyabami was unrivalled.
Christine Nalukwago, 19, a Senior Six student at Kitante Hill School, came second. Ms Nalukwago presented a research project on de-worming tablets.
Athwana High School students from Kenya came third with a detailed study on e-waste management.
Each of the winners received a cash prize and a certificate.
Both Ms Nsekonziza and Ms Nyabami are Senior Five science students. In an interview with Rwanda Today, Ms Nsekonziza described their innovation as a major breakthrough in the wake of concerted efforts by the government to ensure access to clean water for all households in the country.
“They told us to think about any project and we thought of rooftop rainwater harvesting. We don’t have enough water and when it rains, we let it go instead of tapping it,” says Ms Nsekonziza, who is studying physics, chemistry and biology.
Her colleague Ms Nyabami aims to become a medical researcher after university. She is also studying physics, chemistry and biology.