Cattle is central to the economy and livelihoods of the Maasai, but constant attacks on their livestock by lions from the nearby Nairobi National Park in Kenya remains a recurring problem that has defied solutions for a long time.

Richard Turere is a 13-year-old Maasai boy who looks after his father’s cattle and has experienced lion attacks on the herd. Using locally available materials, he devised a solution to guard farmers’ livestock from lions.

After experimenting with various lion deterrents, he fitted a series of flashing LED bulbs onto poles around the livestock enclosure, facing outward. To the lions, these flashing LED lights look like the torchlight of a human guarding the cattle at night.

Since Turere rigged up his “Lion Lights,” his family has not lost any livestock to lions and his invention won him an invitation to the TED 2013 conference, where he received a standing ovation for his speech.

It’s amazing how we can find simple solutions to seemingly complex problems in Africa.

Africa needs more people like Richard Turere.

In the video below, watch Richard as he explains the inspiration and process that led to his invention…

Video Credit: Al Jazeera