Young Kenyan innovators to compete for Stockholm water prize


Women and children carry water for domestic use at Chemusian in Ainabkoi, Uasin Gishu County. FILE PHOTO | nmg

Young Kenyan innovators will for the first time compete for the Stockholm Junior Water Prize that recognises projects with the potential to solve major problems facing water consumers in different countries.

The global competition for students aged 15 to 20 is organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), and attracts thousands of entries from 38 countries every year.

Kenyan events organising company Alison & Davis Group (ADG), which has partnered with the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) to bring the competition into the country, said it was looking to innovations seeking to secure the country’s water resources.

“In hosting the Stockholm Junior Water Prize this year, we are contributing towards securing the country’s water resources by recognising its innovative youth population. We are looking forward to getting highly competitive innovations,” said Florence Wanjiru, the ADG board chairperson.

South Africa, Sierra Leone, Benin and Nigeria are the only African countries to have participated in the global youth competition.

Kenya has been trying in recent years to restore its degraded major water catchment areas such as the Mau Forest Complex and contain pollution in its rivers.

A majority of consumers in urban and rural areas also face challenges accessing clean water and sanitation. The winning innovators from Kenya will qualify to compete with those from other countries for the top prize of $15,000 (Sh1.6 million) and a diploma during the World Water Week in Sweden in August next year.

In 2020, the top prize was won by Hiroki Matsuhashi and Takuma Miyaki from Japan for a method to control runoff and increase food production, using the traditional Japanese soil solidification technology Tataki.