Three Winners Selected at the 2016 ISHOW Kenya

June 3, 2016

(Left to right) Noha El-Ghobashy, associate executive director, ASME Programs & Philanthropy, and executive director of the ASME Foundation, with ISHOW Kenya winners Lawrence Ojok, Taita Ngetich and Patrick Kiruki, and Samuel Njeri of KPMG Kenya.

The developers of three novel social innovations — a waterless toilet, an eco-friendly mining drill and a smart irrigation system for small farms — were named the winners of the 2016 ASME Innovation Showcase (ISHOW) in Kenya. Nine hardware innovators competed at the event, which was held May 26 at the Golden Tulip in Nairobi.

Patrick Kiruki, creator of the Banza Waterless Toilet, was one of the winners of ISHOW Kenya, which was the second of three ASME ISHOWs to be held this spring. The device, which was conceived as an in-home toilet for Nairobi slums, separates liquid and solid waste using disposable, biodegradable bags. Kiruki, a Los Angeles-based industrial designer working with a team in Kenya, is also developing the infrastructure to collect the waste and to convert it into renewable products for agriculture and cooking.

(Left to right) Noha El-Ghobashy, associate executive director, ASME Programs & Philanthropy, with ISHOW Kenya winner Patrick Kiruki, co-founder of Banza, Ltd., and Samuel Njeri of KPMG Kenya.

The second winning entry, the Green Rock Drill, was developed by mechanical engineer and former miner Lawrence Ojok. The drill, which can be powered by a bicycle generator or a solar-charged battery, was designed to capture hazardous dust produced in the mining process. The drill, which will be much more economical than traditional diesel-electric pneumatic drills, will be marketed to small scale miners as an alternative to the use of hand tools.

ASME Associate Executive Director Noha El-Ghobashy (left) and KPMG Kenya’s Samuel Njeri with ISHOW winner Lawrence Ojok, creator of the Green Rock Drill.

The third winner of the 2016 ISHOW Kenya was Taita Ngetich for his entry, the Smart Mobile Farming system for small-scale farmers. Ngetich’s system is intended to improve and automate drip irrigation by using sensors to monitor temperature, humidity, soil moisture and other conditions. Ngetich and his business partner Brian Bett are the co-founders of Illuminum Greenhouses, a small business that sells wood-framed greenhouses in Kenya.

(Left to right) ASME’s Noha El-Ghobashy with ISHOW winner Taita Ngetich of Illuminum Greenhouses Kenya and KPMG Kenya’s Samuel Njeri at the 2016 ISHOW Kenya in Nairobi.

The three teams shared $50,000 in prize money to help further develop and market their products. The winners also received extensive design and engineering reviews of their products by a panel of industry experts.

The third and final 2016 ASME ISHOW will be held June 15 at the District Architecture Center in Washington, D.C. For more information on the ISHOW program, or to learn more about the other ISHOW Kenya finalists, visit