For some of us, growing up, this was a resounding war cry of relief and victory that is associated with seeing the bulbs glow. Sometimes, you even hear the noise before you see the light. Depending on where you live, there can be edits as to how it is shouted, but the shout is real.
It is the direct opposite of “light don go”.
But for two brothers and students of the Federal University of Technology Akure(FUTA), Salaudeen Abdulrahman and Salaudeen Tasleem, it has become a rallying point for sharing the joy of knowing where there is electric power.
Tasleem, a student of the Department of Remote sensing and GIS and Abdulrahman who is studying Computer Engineering developed a real-time solution to provide necessary information that will help us plan around the effect of unstable power supply- Upnepa.
Upnepa informs you of the availability of electric power supply in your area, campus, or community. It answers the question of “ Where light dey?”.
First launched in FUTA and its environs in 2017, the developers of the app have expanded the reach to the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta(FUNAAB), Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba(AAUA) and is now looking towards extending its service nationwide.
The application works in two modes; Alternative mode and Upnepa Automatic. For Alternative mode, you can use estimated count—where you can give a precise guess on the electricity status in your area with the number of people charging at the moment; Ask a friend—buzz an Upnepa user in your area and get a swift reply and conversations on the Upnepa profiles where you can even ask maybe the user is using alternative source of power like solar, Generator, power banks et al.
In the Upnepa Automatic Mode, subscribers are automatically notified when there is electric power, by smart sensors installed in the communities. Subscribers can also use the supply history page to review electricity timeline in selected areas and monitor power supply.
Hence, the Upnepa platform solves the problem of calling to ask for “light”, those “Light dey?” questions, it is building a community around solving a known problem of unstable power supply( Since users can create individual profiles and relate to other subscribers) and can be a source of credible data(gives weekly, monthly and yearly records (In hours) of electricity supplied to an area or community) to check the consistency of power supply in an area, which can help you make fact-based decision in choosing where to stay or site your office. It can also help with proper budgeting and planning of your itinerary.
In a country like Nigeria, that still has a lot of issues with power supply, there could be a lot of applications. PHCN and discos could use it to track power supply to areas if properly harnessed, important data could be mined to help government and other service providers provide place-specific solutions etc.
As we continue to hope for a time where we wouldn’t have to shout Up Nepa, maybe Upnepa can help us prepare and plan.