Our Impact

Tools for East African Lakes (TEAL)

Thematic Area: ICTs including big data and artificial intelligence

University: University of Rwanda (UR)

Project Leader: Dr. Gerard Rushingabigwi

Collaborating Partners: Rochester Institute of Technology;

Duration: 2 years

Project Overview


The East African Region has many lakes of all sizes that provide important ecosystem services to the communities adjacent to the lakes. Among the most important services are fisheries, as a source of protein and a component of food security, and the use of water for drinking and industry. Thus, lake managers need information on lake water status to maintain the fisheries and water quality in the face of increasing demands and threats. Traditional lake sampling from boats can provide very accurate information, but only at the sample locations.  The practical limitations of cost and time prevent traditional sampling methods from giving a complete view of the lake over time and space. Sensor networks are a critical component of larger observation networks which include remote sensing.

The technology:

This project aims at assembling and testing a relatively inexpensive set of devices to support the creation of Internet of Things sensor networks for measuring the optical properties and temperatures of East African lakes. The project will create and test low-cost sensors and sensor systems for studies of African lakes.

Sensor networks developed for this project will be piloted in Cyohoha North and Mugesera lakes, in Rwanda. Successful creation and practical deployment of these types of sensor networks at scale, will improve the knowledge of lake managers about lake conditions throughout East Africa.

Expected Impact:

This new way to observe lakes using networks and remote sensing, in tandem with traditional sampling, will allow lake managers to make better decisions and plan more effective lake management strategies. By improving lake management strategies using these sensor networks, regional populations that depend on the lakes as a food and water source will have more sustainable access to these critical resources

For more information, please contact the Project Leader.