Dazzling array of inventions premier at technical fete

Collins Kemboi (in overall) and Kepher Namu (in red t-shirt) work on their innovation dubbed 'The Engine Propelled Planter during the 8th Rift Valley Technical Training Institute 8th International Conference in Eldoret. [Kevin Tunoi/Standard]
The 8th Rift Valley Technical Training Institute (RVTTI) International Conference lived up to its billing as a meeting of innovative minds.

During the three-day forum that started yesterday, youths from the various Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions across the region showcased their inventions aimed at solving contemporary technical challenges.

The innovations aptly represented the conference’s theme ‘Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals for green economies and societies, or the TVET Agenda.

On display were various inventions, including improvised planting machines, semi-automatic chain-link machines and kitchen gardens.

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All the inventions on exhibition were modeled to mitigate the effects of global warming.

Kenneth Njoroge and John Benson Mathenge, both automotive engineering students at Nyandarua Institute of Science and Technology, presented a semi-automatic chain link machine used to make fencing materials that took them two years to invent.

“At the moment there is global warming going on and people mainly depend on trees to fence. But now that trees are disappearing, there is need to conserve the remaining ones. But people have to fence their homes and properties and we thought of how to fence permanently without cutting down trees, thus the chain-link machine that interlaces wires into a fencing material,” said Njoroge.

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He said that the invention, which was first operated manually before it was automated, has helped many homes prefer chain-link fencing that does not use wooden poles.

“We joined the institute in 2016 and conceptualised our idea which unfolded after several false starts due to lack of finances to buy materials,” said Njoroge.

“We make and sell the machines to companies that manufacture chain-links and apart from saving trees, the machines are efficient and environmentally friendly,” he said.

Planting machine

Collins Kemboi and Kepher Namu from RVTTI presented an automated planting machine for small-scale maize, beans and sorghum farmers.

“Majority of small scale farmers use oxen ploughs while planting cereals which is cumbersome, inefficient and time consuming. Our invention allows a farmer to drive the planter and sow his farm in record time,” said Kemboi.

Assembled from scrap metals, Kemboi said the machine saves farmers time and resources.

“Technology is the way to go in solving some of the challenges affecting the globe. What is needed is adequate funding to allow inventors to actualise their ideas,” he said.

His fellow inventor, Namu, called on the youth to embrace technology and use it to create jobs.

“It is only through innovation that the youth can make a decent living,” he said.

The RVTTI Principal Edwin Tarno said ideas generated during the conference are modeled to solve some of the world’s technological challenges.

“We have partnered in research and technology with global institutions such as International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education (UNEVOC) and International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to implement the inventions in our TVETs,” said Dr Tarno.

UNEVOC representative Wilson Limer said the centre was committed to assisting member States in transforming TVETs.

“The TVET sector is the engine that drives the world’s agenda,” he said.

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TVETsRVTTI International ConferenceSustainable Development Goals