Pontso Moletsane, Motebele Moshodi and Sechaba Ramabenyane, South Africa

Pontso Moletsane, Motebele Moshodi and Sechaba Ramabenyane of South Africa were awarded the prize for developing a revolutionary system to cut water usage in small-scale irrigation.

This is one example of triumph over adversity, where children who are from a disadvantaged background, are even able to overcome all constraints related to their humble social backgrounds, to achieve the best results. This proves beyond reasonable doubt that any child given an opportunity could rise to any challenge.
Ms. Buyelwa Sonjica,South African Water Minister

For the students, the moment the received the prize was even more memorable because the audience included among others the South African Water Minister, Ms. Buyelwa Sonjica.

The South African team proposed a revolutionary solution to minimise the need for water in small-scale irrigation. They developed a low-current electric soil humidity sensor which uses light detection to control water pipe valves and improve irrigation efficiency. By automating irrigation so that it occurs mainly at night, less water is lost to evaporation. Their invention, called the ‘Nocturnal Hydro Minimiser,’ is technically simple and inexpensive to produce. It enables communities to use the limited water resource more efficiently, to improve food production and to contribute to eradication of poverty.
Nominating Committee