NAIROBI, KENYA: Water is life and the driving force of all nature, yet 41 per cent of Kenyans are unable to access running water and are forced to walk miles in search of the precious commodity.
It is worse in arid and semi-arid rural areas where women have to walk for miles carrying containers on their backs and heads looking for water.
Not surprisingly, this has resulted in many of women developing health complications.
Then comes Herman Bigham, an innovator born and raised in America who relocated to Kenya just a year ago.
Bigham also was known as Muli watched women from North-Eastern and Eastern parts of Kenya walk long distances with jerricans of water on their backs, their children strapped to their backs.
When he could not stand it, he came up with a solution.
Tosheka-rolling spring is a simple machine which eases the transportation of water.
The machine, which is capable of holding multiple cans at a time, has rolling springs allowing water to turn inside the container hence building up rotating force and momentum that propels the container easily across any terrain with minimal effort.
It comes in two designs for round and rectangle cans.
“It was heartbreaking when I met women in Makueni struggling with loads of jerricans on their heads while holding their babies,” he told CityBiz.
Able to maneuver in any environment, Tosheka can be operated by both the young and old.
Herman Bigham targets mainly dry areas. His first beneficiaries are women living around Mlolongo, Kitengela, Athriver, and parts of Makueni.
“When mothers walk for long in search of water, children are also denied time for school,” says Bigham who uses marine wood, recycled tires and screws to make Tosheka-rolling spring.
He explains that his machine does not need any servicing and can be used for 15 years.
A single machine which is capable of holding one container goes for Sh6,000s while the multiple Tosheka-rolling spring which can hold at least three jerricans costs Sh16,000.
So far he has employed 25 people.
“I’m here to empower young men who are talented but lack support. What they need is someone who can guide them and make their dreams come true and that’s what I am focusing on,” he says.
This is not Muli’s first invention.
Among others, he is the originator of Tosheka power pack, a device the size of a cell phone that can charge six devices at once, jump-start a vehicle and refill tyre pressure.
Bigham’s greatest challenge is the poor quality of raw materials which forces him to import wood, screen mesh, and screws.
He also adds that there is minimal support from the government yet his projects improve the lives of Kenyans.