By GPS and KU PRESS
Research and development hold the key to Nyandarua’s transformation, His Excellency Governor Francis Kimemia has said.
Speaking when he donated KShs. 500,000 to Mr. Simon Ndirangu, a Kenyatta University student from Kiriita Ward, Ndaragwa Sub-County, Governor Kimemia announced his readiness to back indigenous ground-breaking innovations.
“Any Nyandaruan who is at the forefront of resolving complex challenges facing our society should liaise with me directly via email@example.com or the nearest County Government office,” he said at the institution.
Ahead of his election in 2017, Governor Kimemia pledged to intensify the County Government’s engagement with citizens, professionals, investors and other partners in sharpening Nyandarua’s development priorities.
Mr. Ndirangu has come up with an innovation that uses 3D-printing to produce nasal swabs.
A fourth-year biotechnology student, Mr. Ndirangu explained that the swabs are made using a technology called Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), a common thermoplastic polymer used in food packaging.
His innovation was largely triggered by a shortage of swabs, which has been a major hindrance in the ongoing fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
“With the increasing cases of the virus in the country, my innovation once approved by the Ministry of Health might come in handy for testing a larger group of people compared to what is happening today,” he said.
With only two major producers of swabs in the world, the young innovator intends to produce 1,000 swabs per printer daily at the varsity’s Business Innovation and Incubation Center, at an affordable price of KShs. 100 per swab.
The easy-to-use swabs have a molded breaking point that allows health workers to easily break off the swabs instead of using scissors, which he termed as unsafe.
“These swabs are easier to use than the ones already in use,” added an upbeat Mr. Ndirangu.
Ndirangu, who takes pride in his home County, urged fellow youth to come up with new ideas that will be of benefit to them and the community at large.
Governor Kimemia congratulated Mr. Ndirangu for the timely innovation, terming it a milestone in the fight against Covid-19.
“My Government is keen on tapping such young innovative brains by providing relevant forms of support, including industrial linkages, moral and financial support,” he said.
On June 28, 2020, the County head dispatched County Executive Committee Member for Youth, Sports and the Arts Hon. Dominic Murani to the University to assess what motivated Mr. Ndirangu into the eye-catching innovation.
The Governor was accompanied by Mr. Ndirangu’s parents, Mzee Samuel Ndirangu and Mama Saraphina Wanjiru.
Also present were County Executive Committee Members Hon. Mary Mugwanja (Finance and Economic Development), Hon. (Dr.) John Mungai (Health Services), Hon. Daniel Wangenye (Transport, Energy and Public Works), Hon. Milka Wanjiru (Water, Environment, Tourism and Natural Resources), Hon. Raphael Njui (Industrialization, Trade and Co-operatives) and acting County Secretary Hon. Stephen Njoroge (who also in charge of Education, Gender Affairs, Culture and Social Services).
In attendance was Leader of Majority in the County Assembly Hon. Edinald King’ori (North Kinangop Ward), his counterpart Hon. Wairimu Njane (Charagita Ward) and Chief Officer Ms. Florence Annan (Lands, Housing, Physical Planning and Urban Development).