Drought SA teenager wins Google prize for her solution to retaining soil water

Kiara Nirghin, 16, emerged winner in the worldwide competition with her idea to use orange peels to help retain water in the soil. Southern Africa has been experiencing intense drought attributed to the El Nino weather phenomenon.

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play Kiara Nirghin, 16, emerged winner in the worldwide competition with her idea to use orange peels to help retain water in the soil. Southern Africa has been experiencing intense drought attributed to the El Nino weather phenomenon. (Google)
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A teenager in South Africa has been awarded a science prize organised by Google for her idea to use orange peels to improve soils.

Kiara Nirghin, 16, emerged winner in the worldwide competition with her idea to use orange peels to help retain water in the soil. Southern Africa has been experiencing intense drought attributed to the El Nino weather phenomenon.

play Kiara Nirghin, 16, emerged winner in the worldwide competition with her idea to use orange peels to help retain water in the soil. Southern Africa has been experiencing intense drought attributed to the El Nino weather phenomenon. (Google)

 

“The product is fully biodegradable, low-cost and has better water retaining properties than commercial SAPs. The only resources involved in the creation of the 'orange peel mixture' were electricity and time, no special equipment nor materials were required," according to the online submission of the fair.

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The orange peels are a cheap, biodegradable solution to the droughts. This makes the young Nirghin’s invention a timely piece of scientific brilliance to solve the imminent food emergency looming over many countries.

play The orange peels are a cheap, biodegradable solution to the droughts. This makes the young Nirghin’s invention a timely piece of scientific brilliance to solve the imminent food emergency looming over many countries. (Thinkstock)

 

For her efforts, the sixteen year old has been awarded a 50,000 dollar scholarship.



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