A 9-year-old boy is among 68 Kenyans who received the newly established Presidential Order of Service Award (Uzalendo Award) during the 57th Madaraka Day celebrations on Monday.
Stephen Wamukota was recognized for his effort in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic after he designed a unique hand-washing machine.
The boy from Bungoma County hit media headlines in April after he developed the wooden machine that enables one to wash their hands without touching it.
To use the hand-washing facility, one only needs to step on a pedal that first releases soap followed by water.
Wamukota said the idea to make the machine came up after he saw people struggling to wash their hands comfortably due to the fear of contracting Covid-19 through touching the same surfaces touched by others while cleaning their hands.
The Class 3 pupil from Mukwa Primary School spent about Sh3,000 to design the machine.
“I had the idea of developing this machine and after I started, I ran out of materials and approached my father who assisted me to complete it,” he told Daily Nation.
In an interview with the BBC, the boy said his desire is to become an engineer in the future. Local leaders led by Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati and Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala promised to move him to a better school where his creativity can be nurtured.
Others who received Uzalendo Award alongside Wamukota include Health Director-General Patrick Amoth, Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi, Jane Karuku who is the Chairperson of the Covid-19 Fund, Elgon Kenya’s Bimal Kantaria and Royal Media Services Managing Director Wachira Waruru.