The Inkua donkey cart design competition curtain came down Wednesday, November 18, 2015 with the winning team taking home Kshs. 100,000. The competition that commenced July, 28, 2015 was organized by the College of Engineering and Technology (COETEC) in collaboration with Africaqua and Water.org.
The challenge attracted 18 teams drawn from various Engineering programmes in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. The teams were tasked to come up with functional, durable, cost effective and genders sensitive donkey carts designs.
Speaking during the award ceremony, Africaqua Chief Executive Officer, David Kuria, said in order to effectively and holistically solve societal problems, there is need for the academia to link up with industries and engage in collaborative research and initiatives.
Mr. Kuria lauded the students for taking time out of their normal studies to engage with the local communities for the success of the competition and said he was confident that the prototype that will emanate from the designs presented would be efficient and effective for water transportation especially in the rural area.
Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Romanus Odhiambo thanked Africaqua and Water.org for their effort in ensuring that the competition ran smoothly and was pleased by the number of female students who took up the challenge.
“I want to commend Africaqua for the work they do with the local communities and encourage them to keep up the excellent work of enhancing people’s livelihood especially those in rural areas,” said Prof. Odhiambo.
He also encouraged the student to take up such opportunities and come up with ideas that will make a difference in the community, improving people’s livelihood.
Principal COETEC, Prof. Bernard Ikua was impressed by the determination and teamwork shown by the teams and challenged Africaqua and other organisations to bring more challenges like this one, assuring them that JKUAT has a great pool of innovative and creative students who will always rise up to the occasion.
The winners of the competition, Maelo Sabasaba and Maina Muiruri, 5th year students, Mechanical Engineering, thanked all parties responsible in making the competition possible and guaranteed them that it has enabled them put into practice the skills and knowledge learnt in class.
“I am glad that we were part of this noble competition. It has not only enabled us put in practice what we learnt but has also enabled us play a part in solving a real life problem facing our society,” said Sabasaba.
The jury of the competition comprised of Eng. Reuben Mutevu, Dr. K. Njoroge and Mr. David Kweri. The prototype of the donkey cart design will be out by the end of February, 2016.