By Peter Oliver Ochieng

Two form four students at the St. Mary’s Kamba secondary school in Kanduyi, Bungoma County are the 2021 Young Scientists Kenya (YSK) National Science and Technology Exhibition, health category award winners.

Valerie Wanjala and Claire Wesonga won the award for the most innovative project in health, after they presented an idea on reversible male family planning pill from Mondia Whytei, commonly referred to as Mkombero and another plant known as justica genderusa.

From left: Claire and Valerie display rabbits used in the project

Ezekiel Murani who teaches biology and chemistry from form one to form four at the remote school was the student’s patron in the project. He said the work of justica genderusa was to cause infertility in the male rabbits, while Mkombero’s role was to reverse the infertility.

“We used rabbits whereby we extracted liquid from the plants and injected male rabbits separately. Justica genderusa causes infertility for a certain period of time. The work of mondia whytei was just to reverse the infertility of a male rabbit,” said the teacher.

“The rabbits injected by justica genderusa did not make the female rabbits pregnant,” added Murani. “But after reversing infertility by injecting them with Mkombero, they made the female rabbits pregnant.”

Students and their teacher during the project


The project took them almost a year. Surprisingly, the school does not have a laboratory or a library. “We have reared about 15 rabbits in the school which aided us in the project,” said Murani.

The students, Valerie and Claire appreciated Murani and Principal Ann Nyongesa for holding their hands throughout the project.

“I will encourage other students to work hard in the future so as to succeed in school. I aspire to be a doctor in the future,” said Claire.

The Principal thanked the students for putting St. Mary’s Kamba on the mark, requesting well-wishers and the government to join hands and improve the school’s infrastructure.

The students were awarded a trophy, a certificate and handed Sh 5,000 each by the organizers.