• Kenneth Guantai made the innovation in 2015, and has described the journey before his innovation was finally accepted and patented as 'tumultuous' mainly due to lack of funding.
• The improved tuk-tuks have more carrying capacity fitting up to six passengers with a load capacity of 1.5 tonnes.
Kenyans will get a taste of the zero fuel tuk-tuks which will soon be mass produced and made available in the country.
These are new model handcarts (mkokoteni) that do not use human energy and improved tuk-tuk that uses zero fuel to run.
They have more carrying capacity fitting up to six passengers with a load capacity of 1.5 tonnes.
The fuel free tuk-tuks were made by innovator-Kenneth Guantai, who sought to find a more convenient and efficient mechanism to aid thousands of youth who use handcarts in cities and towns to earn a living while responding to the health hazard and pollution posed by the use of handcarts and tuk tuks respectively.
Guantai made the innovation in 2015, and has described the journey before his innovation was finally accepted and patented as 'tumultuous' mainly due to lack of funding.
Believing in the idea however, the then Ministry of Public Service Youth and Gender Affairs housed the innovation within the National Youth Service (NYS), exploiting their mandate for catalysing youth empowerment to explore the promise of this innovation.
After months of intensive works, a new model handcart that does not use human energy and a tuk-tuk that uses zero fuel was been built.
NYS has since backed the innovation and fronted the seed money, expertise, labour and premises to incubate the innovation.
The electric tuktuk is fitted with a unique component that allows it to self-charge while in motion eliminating additional operations costs of fuel or electric charging.
Testers have praised the improved tuk-tuk claiming it is ideal for SMEs as well as those who do not own private vehicles.
These tuk-tuks have reportedly passed all necessary tests and will soon be mass produced for commercialization.
The innovator, Guantai, now doubles as Head of Innovation and Research at NYS where he is helping young servicemen and women explore their own ideas to solve problems in Kenya and Africa as well as possible commercialization.