A teenage scientist from Johannesburg, South Africa has created a super-absorbent polymer to combat the severe drought currently ravaging South Africa. Kiara Nirghin created a polymer from orange peels and avocado skins that can absorb hundreds of times its own weight. Her aim was to help crop farmers whose fields are suffering greatly. The polymer could be used to create reservoirs out of cheap and easily obtainable materials. With her project, Nirghin won Google Science Fair’s Community Impact Award for the Middle East and Africa and has been given a mentor from the company to help develop her idea further, including possible in-field testing.

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