9 year old Kenyan boy given state award for hand-wash invention
London, June 2, 2020 (AltAfrica)-A 9-year-old Kenyan boy, Stephen Wamukota who designed a unique machine for washing hands has been honoured with the prestigious Kenyan National Honours
He is among 68 people who were conferred The Presidential Order of Service, Uzalendo Award on Monday.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said the award was in recognition of distinguished and outstanding service to Kenya in helping steer the country through the coronavirus pandemic.
Wamukota, who lives in Bungoma County, hit the headlines in April this year after he came up with a hand washing facility that could be used without touching it.
Nine-year-old Stephen Wamukota used wood to suspend a jerrycan of water and create a pedal to be used to dispense water and soap and avoid contact.
Young Stephen Wamukota is also among the inaugural recipients of the Presidential Uzalendo Award due to his handwashing innovation. Surely rewards and goodness know no demographic nor age boundaries when you do good.— Agnes Kagure (@itsagneskagure) June 2, 2020
He had told his mother that the available hand-washing facilities in his hometown in western Kenya were exposing people to coronavirus through contact.
His father, who is a carpenter, helped him build his handwashing machine.
During an interview with Kenyan tabloid, the Daily Nation, he said that he had seen people struggling to wash their hands comfortably with no fear of contracting coronavirus
The Class 3 pupil from Mukwa Primary School revealed that the machine had cost him Ksh.3,000 to construct.
He narrated how he started putting the machine together on his own but could not complete it.
“I had the idea of developing this machine and after I started, I ran out of materials and approached my father who assisted me complete it,” the young Wamukota said as quoted by the Daily Nation.
His father James Wamukota repairs radios and phones. He intimated that his son has always had a creative mind and residents have been flocking their home to see the unique gadget.
The creative boy who has also been interviewed by the BBC said he desires to be an engineer in future.
On May 15, Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati and area Senator Cleophas Malala said they would scout for a special school for Wamukota to nurture his creativity.
Bungoma Governor @GovWWangamati & senator @Cleophasmalala committed to scout for a special school that will help narture the creative talent of Stephen Wamukota, the 9 year-old who grabbed global headlines for pioneering a home-made hand-washing & sanitizer-dispensing machine. pic.twitter.com/6RPNNFZ9Wl— BungomaDigital (@BungomaDigital) May 15, 2020