Innovate Kenya Announces 2014 Finalists


Innovate Kenya is proud to announce 10 finalists for the second Innovate Kenya ideas competition held on July 19th, 2014.

Building on the success of last year’s innovation challenge in Kenya, we are pleased to announce that more than 700 students contributed to over 120 applications from all over Kenya. All of these secondary students are proposing to solve tangible problems in their communities. The applications demonstrated passion and drive that make us very excited for the future of Kenya.

Below are the 10 finalist projects with their associated schools, innovators, category, and project description. Each finalist team will receive up to $950 in additional funding and leadership and business development support. They will also be exposed to a network of local and global mentors and national and international funding and fellowship opportunities. Congratulations to our finalists!
Fish Haven
Precious Blood Secondary School Riruta
Mary Murithi, AnnBeatrice Njararam, Candy Ading, Elizabeth Wahu, and Alice Lengarpatei
Category: Agriculture
Fish farming has become a lucrative business in Kenya. However, many fish farms do not provide the right climatic conditions (i.e. temperature) for the fish to survive in. As a result, fish often die. The semifinalist team from Precious Blood have designed a water heating system, similar to a water bath, that will maintain still conditions in the water required for the survival of the dish. By keeping a fish pond a constant temperature that maximizes fish survival, the team hopes to provide the solution to the challenge that faces many fish farmers today.

Cellulostic Ethanol as a Fuel Source
Njoro Girls’ High School
Esther Nderitu and Everlyne Muchugia
Category: Energy
Crude oil is becoming increasingly demanded, expensive and scarce. As a non-renewable source of energy, it is also a significant pollutant to the environment. The team from Njoro Girls’ High school have found a way to extract ethanol from inedible parts of plants. This process involves converting cellulose to a simple sugar, which is then fermented to ethanol and can be used as a an alternative fuel source.

Fuel From Waste Papers
The Kenya High School
Stacy Obiero, Brigitta Kalekye, Fiona Kemunto, and Veronica Muriga
Category: Energy
A majority of Kenyan households rely on wood energy to provide fuel for cooking. This contributes to Kenya’s rising rate of deforestation. Currently, students graduating high school burn all their old school documents (old tests, papers, books, etc.). Paper forms the highest percentage of litter in schools and in the country. Thus, the semifinalist team from Kenya High will use these old papers, and add water, to make paper logs as an alternative of wood fuel.

Automatic Streetlights
Mukhonje Secondary School
Sheilla Matiny, Sharon Murunga, Brenda Vutakwe, and Majoni Jacob
Category: Engineering
Streetlights in Kenya experience frequent power failures. Most of the time, this is caused by faulty switches for the streetlights. The semifinalist team has designed a way to operate streetlights automatically by use of a solar panel as a sensor. This automatic sensor will help ensure the sustainable use of energy and reduces the risk of failure due to wear and tear, or due to aging.

Mobile Voting
Precious Blood Secondary School Riruta
Judith Musangi, Tracy Oganda, Kimberly Wanjiru, and Audrey Akolo
A lot of challenges have previously faced the Kenyan voting system. This includes time and funds wastage, inaccuracy, corruption, accountability, and delay in announcing results. The semifinalist team from Precious Blood Secondary School has come up with a mobile-phone based voting system, called MOBOVOTING. This system is based off Kenya’s current M-PESA system that allows one to pay bills and purchase goods through their mobile phone. MOBOVOTING will allow one to vote using their phones regardless of the type of phone it is.

The Bend Maneuver Warner
Mangu High School
Christopher Khajira and Gitau Ian Kiarie
Category: Engineering and Civic
Many road accidents throughout Kenya have occurred due to sudden road bends and sharp corners. The semi-finalist team of Mangu High School has come up with a circuit to be installed on the roads to warn cars of upcoming sharp corners. Since most accidents happen at night, the device only works at night using light-dependent components that will flash and signal to cars of upcoming bends, thus reducing the chance of a fatal accident.

Sustainability of Plastics- A Step to Saving the Environment
Loreto High School
Mercy Priscilla, Esther Thuo, and Diana Wangoko
This semifinalist team is tackling the negative environmental effects of plastics. 86% of ocean debris is plastic, which most negatively effects sea life. Many mammals die due to ingestion of these plastics. The semifinalist team form Loreto High School has created biodegradable plastics made from starch extracted from mango seeds. This is not only a cheap and simple process, but will also help address the continuous rise of plastic trash.

Mubere Secondary School
Gilbert Kipruto, Nyongesa Ruth, Andrew Wanyonyi, Josphine Situma, and Luke Wafula
Category: Environment
To curb deforestation, the semifinalist team from Mubere Secondary School have decided to use maize cobs, an agricultural waste abundant in Trans Nzoia county, to make chip boards and hard boards as an alternative to wooden boards. Using the maize cobs will allow farmers to maximize their economical returns, especially when their harvested maize do not have a good return during the season.

Papyrus Roofing to Repel Mosquitoes
Mary Leakey Girls High School
Wangui Kamande, Carol Warira, and Diana Njeri
Category: Health
Though Kenya and the international community have taken great strides to prevent and treat malaria, many rural demographics of Kenya still cannot afford its cost of prevention. Team Reymie of Mary Leakey High School have come up with a means to prevent household mosquito infestation by making cheap ceiling, roofing, and window shutters using papyrus treated with herbs that have natural mosquito repellent properties such as lemon, aloe, and lavender. Additionally, the team has created a blog to keep community members informed on malaria prevention and treatment.

The Solars
Loreto High School
Linda Irungu, Grace Wambui, Wendy Agutu, and Cynthia Nzioka
The Solars from Loreto High School are trying to solve the problem of rising cases of waterborne diseases such as dysentery and cholera. The team has built a solar powered water purifier that can yield up to three gallons of purified drinking water on a sunny day. The Solars also plan to educate community members of alternative ways to purify water. This team will primarily target slums where people do not have access to clean and safe drinking water and cannot afford to purchase quality water.

Desmond MitchellInnovate Kenya Announces 2014 Finalists

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