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Turning Trash into Electric Wheelchairs, Meet the Self-taught Kenyan Innovator Solving Disability Issues

A self-taught Kenyan innovator, Lincoln Wamae is solving mobility issues with recycled materials. He builds electric trikes for disabled Kenyans.

He told the BBC that he started building electric chairs using scrap metal after an accident left him injured. For him, it all started out as a hobby and later turned into a passion.

Wamae, 30, spent three years perfecting his electric wheel chair design using batteries from old laptops and materials he got from junkyards.

Unlike many seasoned African entrepreneurs, Lincoln had no training of any sort. “The secret is just trying,” he told the public broadcaster.

Wamae’s passion has transformed into a business. He made tricycles until he saw a need to help alleviate the struggles of persons with disability. It was then that he thought of converting his tricycle into an electric wheelchair.

He built his first electric wheelchair in December 2018 and has since built more. When provided with all the materials he needs, Wamae says it will take him a day to build a wheelchair.

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Wamae does not only make custom electric chairs using scrap materials he collects from junkyards; he is also saving the environment.

“My wheelchairs are powered by lithium-ion batteries. I source them from old laptop batteries. In the process I am saving the environment because I’m using e-waste,” he revealed.

The self-taught innovator hopes to mass-produce his designs in future and sell them all over Africa.

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