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Former UoN student among finalists for prestigious African award

Kelvin Gacheru is on the verge of bagging Sh3.3 million.

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A former University of Nairobi student has been shortlisted for a top African innovation award.

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Kevin Gacheru has been named as one of the finalists for the Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation award.

The water resource engineer is the brains behind Mobi-Water, a smart solar-powered water monitoring system.

The system provides mobile-based, real-time water level monitoring solution that allows remote monitoring of tanks and reservoirs in any location.

A user is notified through SMS when water levels drop below a certain point. He/she can then remotely open and close valves and pumps if they want to refill the tank or redirect the water.

Kevin will battle it out with three other finalists from Uganda, South Africa and Nigeria whose innovations provide solutions to local problems.

The four finalists were selected from a pool of 16 shortlisted candidates from across sub-Saharan Africa, who all received six months of training and mentorship.

The awards will be held in Nairobi on May 23 where the finalists will pitch live to the judging panel and assembled audience before the winner is announced.

First position will receive Sh3.34 million while the runners-up each walk away with Sh1.33 million.

Kevin’s story is just but an example of how the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, that began in 2014, has encouraged talented sub-Saharan African engineers, from all disciplines, to develop local solutions to challenges in their communities.

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