13-Year-Old Developed Lion Lights to Protect Cows
13-year old Richard Turere developed Lion Lights to protect his cows. Growing up in the Masai community near Nairobi, Kenya, Richard was responsible as a young boy for taking care of his father’s cows. In an area of poverty, livestock is very valuable to individual families and the loss of a cow or bull can be devastating. The Masai community borders the Nairobi National Park which has little fencing to keep the animals in, resulting in the death of some cows by lions that had wandered out of the park. Richard knew there had to be a solution and after trying several methods to try to deter the predators, he concluded that lions were afraid of moving light. When Richard would walk around the cow pasture with his torch, the lions would stay away.
Taking an old car battery, a blinking light, and an old flashlight, Richard used solar power to run a system that randomly blinks lights throughout the night. He calls them Lion Lights. In the last two years since he set up his Lion Lights, his family has had zero problems with lions. Richard has also installed the Lion Lights in several of his neighbor’s pastures.
The invention has led Richard to the opportunity to attend a well-known school and landed him a TED talk. It can be viewed here. An impressive 13-year old, Richard’s ability to solve a problem in his community is an excellent example of the importance of equipping and empowering communities to lift themselves up and provide for their own needs. Rather than a handout, this community was changed by the invention of a then 11-year old boy.
– Amanda Kloeppel