Enterprise

Duo seeks funds to scale hand wash innovation

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Simon Wafula (left) and Edwin Amwoka with the automatic hand washer device. PHOTO | DIANA MUTHEU | NMG

Summary

  • The simple act of washing hands had long been overlooked until the outbreak of the deadly pandemic, Covid-19.
  • With the virus spreading like bushfire across the world, one of the prescribed measures to beat the virus is washing hands using clean, running water and soap.
  • As Kenya is still grappling with ways to contain the spread of Covid-19, two Mombasa-based techies have come up with innovative ways of washing hands without an individual touching the taps.

The simple act of washing hands had long been overlooked until the outbreak of the deadly pandemic, Covid-19.

With the virus spreading like bushfire across the world, one of the prescribed measures to beat the virus is washing hands using clean, running water and soap.

As Kenya is still grappling with ways to contain the spread of Covid-19, two Mombasa-based techies have come up with innovative ways of washing hands without an individual touching the taps.

Simon Wafula, 27 and Edwin Amwoka, 25, through their project named Automatic Hand Washer, the techies say the machine will help individuals avoid direct contact with taps or surfaces around it, which are being used by many people all over.

“Washing hands is recommended during this critical time. With the Automatic hand washer, one will not be required to open the tap or press any button, which is quite safer,” says Mr Amwoka.

The whole set up of the hand washer comprises of a water tank (or even water in bucket), a bottle of liquid soap and the dispenser.

The dispenser, which is placed at the bottom of the source of water, has two inlets for the liquid soap and clean water. It also has two outlets for the same.

The dispenser also has a sensor and once an individual places their hand below it, it will dispense either water or soap. There is an instruction chart stuck on the front side of the device that will guide the user.

“All of us are struggling to learn how to stay, walk or stand without touching our faces or even the surfaces around us.

“A tap like this come handy because one is not required to touch anywhere so as to open it,” adds Mr Wafula.

The duo, who are former Electrical Engineering students at Technical University of Mombasa (TUM), say the automatic hand washer can use multiple source of power.

“It can use electricity, batteries or solar. We wanted to ensure that the hand washer can also be used by people from remote areas, where electricity is yet to be installed,” says Mr Wafula.

The techies who work in an off-grid solar company say they have already tested the hand washer in their office and many people loved it.

“Some people are requesting about the cost of the gadget. We have also received positive comments from our followers in various social media platforms such as Twitter,” they said, adding that they are willing to upscale if they get capital from a sponsor or through partnership.

The techies are also planning to place the gadget at the ferry crossing channel in Likoni to supplement the taps which were recently placed by the Mombasa County government.

“When powered, the gadget can work for long hours,” said Mr Amwoka.

In regard to the virus, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe last Thursday announced that the number of people infected by the coronavirus had risen to 110 and urged Kenyans to continue observing the stipulated hygiene, for instance, washing hands using clean water and soap.

Other tough measures place include suspension of all international flights from March 25, closure of entertainment joints such as bars, decongestion of market places and Kenyans urged to stay at home.