Bingwa, which operates on diesel fuel, is projected to cost Shillings 28million. This cost is notably less than what an individual would typically expend if they were to purchase a regular tuk-tuk, a water pump, and a power generator separately.
The Bingwa trike is equipped with technologies that solve their most immediate challenges — transport, water, and electricity.
A motor invention is set to change the
lives of rural farmers and households across Uganda offering one in three solutions including transportation, pumping water, and electricity generation.
This innovative three-wheeler named “Bingwa,"
which means champion in Swahili, is similar to the tuk-tuk and was created by a
group of young kibuye-based innovators led by Rogers Mubiru under Kevoton
Motions Engineering Ltd, which is incubated and supported by Kiira Motors.
Mubiru says the three-wheeler is
powered by a highly efficient 0.8-liter 2-stroke engine, designed to provide a superior power-to-weight ratio compared to traditional 4-stroke engines. “The vehicle can transport up to 1,000
kilograms of goods, pump an impressive 6,000 liters of water per hour for
irrigation, and generate 6 kilowatts of electricity every hour.
are poised to address some of the most pressing challenges faced by farmers and
rural households,” said Mubiru. Mubiru mentioned that they conceived the
concept for this product back in 1998. He further explained that their
idea was left hanging until they attended an exhibition and started
working with Makerere University and eventually Kiira Motors.
With a product in hand, Mubiru
added that Bingwa can lead to rural transformation if it is integrated into several agriculture-supporting initiatives like the Parish Development Model. “We hope that this development will
lead to an offtake of 600 units, which can be deployed in different sub-counties
across the country to enable households to improve their livelihood,” Mubiru added.
In Uganda, 90 percent of the population
lives in rural areas while 80% of the households are involved in agriculture
according to the Uganda National Population and Housing Census of 2014. However,
only 2.9 percent of the households use irrigation on at least one plot for the
first season and 2.4% for the second season. Just 19 percent of households are
estimated to have access to electricity for lighting on the backdrop of an
electricity distribution access of 51 percent.
Dr. Monica Musenero, the Minister for
Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI), views this innovation as a solution
to some of Uganda's most urgent problems and recognizes that addressing
household challenges is crucial for promoting economic development.
“Mobility is a fundamental component
for rural development, connecting people to opportunities, services, and
resources necessary for their well-being and economic progress. Electricity
plays a transformative role in rural agrarian communities by boosting agricultural
productivity, improving living conditions, enhancing education and healthcare, and enabling economic diversification,” said Dr. Musenero looking at the three
functions (mobility, electricity, and irrigation) the Bingwa can be able
Musenero emphasized that Uganda is lagging
behind in terms of innovation and must therefore exert extra effort to bridge
the gap with other continents. She made a commitment to offer the necessary
support to innovators in order to facilitate the creation of such products. The three-wheeler is anticipated to be
unveiled in Kitgum by President Museveni as part of the activities
commemorating Uganda's 61st year of independence.
Allan Muhumuza, the Mobility Team Leader at the
STI Secretariat added that the success of the project has enabled the
government to validate an incubation model where a budding innovator,
especially in the informal sector is placed under the mentorship of an anchor
enterprise like Kiira Motors. “This enables us to transfer skills, utilize
existing infrastructure, create institutional capacity, and foster synergies
towards industrialization,” he explained.
According to Albert Akovuku, the Director of Production at Kiira
Motors, 55 percent of the parts used to make Bingwaare were made locally and many can be made by independent suppliers in the
automotive industry value chain thereby making the case for localization and
value addition of products.
“The key parts which have been locally made
are the engine, the chassis, the frame and the body panels...Specifically, 70
out of 128 parts have been made locally. Mass production will be at the Kiira
Vehicle Plant in Jinja with an initial capacity of 1,000 units per year growing
to 4,000 per year in the medium term,” Akovuku added. Bingwa, which operates on diesel fuel, is
projected to cost Shillings 28 million. This cost is
notably less than what an individual would typically spend if they were to
purchase a regular tuk-tuk, a water pump, and a power generator separately.