11 Year Old Kenyan’s Solar Invention Saves Livestock

A boy from Kenya has created a system powered by solar energy that protects his family’s cattle from attack by lions.
  
While solar powered security lighting is nothing new; Richard Turere’s application of it is – and his system is even more amazing when you consider it was assembled from whatever he could lay his hands on and without any formal technical training.
  
Like many farming families with livestock in Empakasi, situated on the edge of the Nairobi National Park; predation of animals by lions is a constant threat – particularly at night time. Each month, Richard’s family were losing cows, sheep and goats. 
   
Noticing that lions never attacked when properties were being monitored by someone walking the area with a torch; Richard set about putting together a system that would further remove risk and the investment of time in carrying out such patrols.
   
Using components retrieved from broken torches, Richard created an automated lighting system around the family’s cattle stockade; powered by an old car battery that is recharged by a small solar panel. The lights flash in sequence, giving the appearance of someone actively monitoring the stockade.
   
Since implementation two years ago, Richard’s family has not experienced any night-time stock predation – and the system also appears to deter would-be stock thieves.
     
Neighbours have noticed the success of Richard’s solar powered security system and he will be kept busy installing similar set-ups on other properties.
    
Aside from saving livestock, the invention also saves lions – as a lion that doesn’t attack is a lion that avoids being possibly shot. It has also saved the Kenyan government in compensation payouts to farmers whose livestock are killed by the protected animals.
   
For his efforts and with help from the Friends of Nairobi National Park, Richard (now 13) has been granted a school scholarship. Richard’s goal is to become an engineer.
   
More on this amazing story can be viewed on the Friends of Nairobi National Park web site.
 
Image credit: Friends Of Nairobi National Park