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25 Nov 2019

James Wanzala, Standard Digital (Kenya)

Kenya: Danish firm M-PAYG supports small-scale fishermen access cold storage facilities to curb losses

"Danish firm gifts coastal fish farmers solar-powered coolers"

A section of Kenya’s fishing community has got a shot in the arm after a Danish firm M-PAYG funded their access to off-grid cooling facilities for their fish. The off-grid solar-powered cooling appliances are in partnership with Worldwide Fund for Nature. The two firms’ efforts have transformed fish farmers’ fortunes. Globally, over 1.05 billion people among the rural and urban poor are lack of access to cooling facilities, according to the latest findings from Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) report dubbed ‘Chilling Prospects: Tracking Sustainable Cooling for All 2019.’ M-PAYG’s support to the fishing communities in Kenya is among the efforts advocated by global players to encourage countries to adopt sustainable cooling methods to combat adverse effects of climate change.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, about 150,000 Kenyans make their living fishing in the East Africa coastal regions bordering the Indian Ocean. Collectively, they harvest about 187,000 tonnes of fresh seafood. However, an estimated one-third of Kenya’s seafood is lost before being sold or consumed, due to inaccessible centralised cold-storage facilities. Many small-scale fishermen in Kenya remain unbanked and do not have access to credit to invest in cold storage equipment.  Many of the fishing-dependent communities also lack access to reliable and affordable electricity.