Kenyan Boy Is Honored After Inventing Hand Washing Machine That Prevents COVID-19 Spread

A young Kenyan boy received a special presidential award after he invented a public hand-washing sink to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Nine-year-old, Stephen Wamukota constructed his little sanitary station using just a bucket, a few pieces of wood, and some basic tools.


The sink’s mechanism is triggered by foot pedals at the base of the station, which means that people can wash their hands without being forced to touch it with their hands.

Stephen’s father James was all praise for the boy, saying, “I had bought some pieces of wood to make a window frame, but I when I came back home after work one day, I found that Stephen had made the machine. The concept was his, and I helped tighten the machine. I’m very proud.”

The youngster built the hand-washing station after watching a TV news report on ways to avoid contracting and spreading COVID-19. Photos of his machine were shared widely on Facebook, and the boy constructed a second one—and he now plans to build even more.

The Kenyan president awarded him and 68 other Kenyan citizens with the prestigious Presidential Order of Service Uzalendo (Patriotic) Award last month.

Stephen wants to become an engineer someday in the future and the governor of his Kenyan county promised to award the boy a scholarship once he is old enough to attend college. Mr. Wamukota now says he is already looking forward to a bright future for his son. “He is always saying he wants to build factories and become an engineer,” he said. “I hope he does, that he becomes a great person.”


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