A BUDDING Wagga inventor and former paramedic has created a contraption to prevent young children from drowning in baths.
Rod Mafohla, who fled president Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe as an asylum seeker in 2005, is pitting his ingenuity against the Riverina’s brightest problem solvers in front of a live audience and panel of entrepreneurs at Pitchfest on Wednesday.
Mr Mafohla has devised a springboard that lets water out of a bath and simultaneously raises an alarm if a child under 40 kilograms steps on it.
“I was an ambulance officer and fire fighter in Zimbabwe and unfortunately I responded to plenty of cases of kids who drowned in baths,” Mr Mafohla said.
“I began volunteering as a fire fighter at the Turvey Park station and the training reignited my thoughts about safety in the home.
“This invention has been three years in the making on and off.”
More than 8 per cent of drownings in Australia occur in the family home, a frightening number Mr Mafohla is hoping to slash.
After working as a surveyor's assistant in Wagga, the innovator and designer now works a night shift cleaning at Teys to pay the bills while he studies accounting at CSU.
The winner will take home a cash prize of $5000 to get their idea off the ground.
Tickets are available from the Civic Theatre on 6926 9688.