By Sarah Mazirwe – Kampala, Uganda, Tuesday, June 2, 2020.
Nine-year-old Stephen Wamukota is among 68 people in Kenya enlisted to receive presidential Uzalendo (Patriotism) award.
The award is meant to recognize individuals who have been steering the country amidst COVID-19 pandemic.
In April of 2020, Stephen used wood to create a pedal to be used to dispense water and soap without 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. Congratulations,” Agnes Kagure, a prominent businesswoman in Kenya tweeted.
Stephen said the invention was done after observing available washing facilities in his native home in Western Kenya were exposing people to COVID-19 through contact.
With the help of his father who’s a carpenter, Stephen invented the handwash machine that stops hands from touching dirty surfaces to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus since hands are major carriers.
“I decided to make this invention after the government announced that there was a Coronavirus disease. I thought of building this after watching people make cars on TVs as well as competency-based curriculum at school,” Stephen told the press, early March.
Kenya now has 2,021 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 482 recoveries and 69 deaths, according to statistics on June 2, 2020.