We have partnered with MK Africa for the MyLittleBigThing SDGs Innovation challenge since 2017. The challenge is an innovation contest among university and college students, aimed at driving awareness and action on SDGs by developing solutions to the challenges highlighted by the goals.
During the year, we invited entries for innovative solutions to address challenges facing Kenyans as described in the first five SDGs (1-5). The top three ideas win an all expenses trip to attend a week-long sustainability practitioners programme hosted by the University of Cambridge in South Africa.
Over 100 students participated in the challenge, with the winning innovation being Auto-Alcoblow, an alcohol detection and monitoring system created by Stephen Muchiri, who recently graduated from (JKUAT). The system measures the blood alcohol levels of a driver by analysing his or her breath and switches off the ignition of the vehicle if these levels exceed recommended safety guidelines. The system also switches off the vehicle if a driver begins consuming alcohol while driving.
In second place was Ruth Wanjiru, a 22-year old student in her fourth year at JKUAT, whose Power in Plastics project aims to encourage the reuse and recycling of plastics and empower low-income communities.
Nkanai Cynthia, 19, from Kenyatta University placed third, with her Keep A Child Warm project. Using easily available local materials, such as sisal fibre, recycled gunny bags and traditional lesos, Cynthia makes improvised blankets for distribution to street families, whom she also mentors.