Learners dreaming big with tech innovations
Planting machines, semi-automatic chain-link machines, a portal kitchen garden and self-service posho mill are among inventions that students at Rift Valley Technical Training Institute (RVTTI) have come up with.
For Kenneth Njoroge and John Benson Mathenge, both automotive engineering students who conceptualized some of the ideas in 2016 when they joined RVTTI, it took them two years to make a semi-automatic chain link making machine.
“People depend on trees for fencing poles but now that they are getting depleted, there is need to conserve the remaining and also do afforestation. But people have to fence their homes and properties and we thought of how to fence permanently using alternatives - thus the chain-link machine to interlace wires to a fencing material,” said Mr Njoroge as he demonstrates how to go about the fencing material which was initially operated manually.
He said the machines make chain-link of different sizes from four feet up to 10 feet, depending on the customers’ need. “We make and sell the machines to companies that manufacture chain-links and apart from saving trees, the machines are efficient, save time and are environment-friendly. We are calling on people to embrace eco-friendly and cost effective technological equipment to beat climate change effects and improve on their livelihoods,” said Mr Njoroge.
Students Collins Kemboi and Keva Namu came up with a planting solution for small-scale farmers growing maize, beans and sorghum. Their invention, an engine propelled planter, is a prototype machine that works just like a normal tractor-propelled planter.
“Majority of small scale farmers prefer oxen or casual labourers in drilling lines for planting cereals and other crops which is cumbersome, less efficient and time consuming. But our invention will now allow just one person to drive the planter and sow his farm in record time,” said Mr Kemboi.
He said if farmers adopt the machine, they will save resources since the planter was assembled using scrap metals of various automobiles.
“Technology is the way to go in solving some of the challenges affecting the globe. What is needed is adequate funding to allow the inventors actualise their ideas,” he said. His peer, Namu on the other hand, implored youths to embrace technology and use it to employ themselves instead of looking for white collar jobs.
“The government said they would create millions of jobs for young people but most youths are still unemployed and it is only through such inventions that the youth can have a decent living,” he said.
RVTTI Principal Edwin Tarno said the ideas generated are expected to solve some of the worlds challenges and satisfy needs of society and domestically drive the Big Four agenda.
“We have partnered with institutions such as International Center for Technical and Vocational Vocational Education and International Development Research Centre implement the inventions in our TVETs,” he said.
He said the creators should actualise and commercialise the innovations to act competently, creatively as agents for sustainability.
“As inventors, you should commercialise your wares to enable favourable competition in the world markets. We shall continue providing platforms for dissemination of research findings in international conferences and peer reviewed journals which are important in the world of academia,” said Dr Tarno.
He said RVTTI is committed to providing quality training.
“We are committed to providing resources to achieve the RVTTI objectives through continual improvement of the quality management system by complying with ISO 9001:2015 standards and other applicable requirements,” said Mr Tarno.
“We shall ensure that established quality objectives are met. The TVET sector is an engine that should drive the world's agenda and its impact on SDGs cannot be overemphasized.”
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