Homabay County is known for having the longest fresh water shoreline from Lake Victoria in Kenya and is a rich area to conduct the business of fish. According to a recent study, the fishing industry in Homabay County employs about 3,000 people directly and has potential for creating over 150,000 jobs directly. One of the challenges facing the industry is availability of cold storage facilities. The fishermen lack chilling and cold storage facilities which results into post fishing losses.
The communities bordering the Lake in Homabay practice fish farming as their core economic activity. The fish farmers have developed fish basins along the lake, where they grow the fish typically found within the lake and complement the fishermen who have to go deep into the lake in search for fish for their market. This ensures a continues supply of the commodity and at an affordable cost.
World vision Kenya has been working with these communities for many years, and in collaboration with the local authorities, they designed fish bandas to assist in the handling of the fish. There also arose a need to improve cold storage since the bandas are constructed next to the lake and away from the national grid.
Epicenter Africa was privileged to design and install Solar Powered storage in the bandas which has significantly improved the shelf life of the fish during handling and before the market. This included Solar Freezers able to store the fish at upto -18oC. The farmers can now increase their fishing capability without incurring losses due to lack of proper storage for their fish before they take them to the market, also increasing their profits.
We applaud World Vision Kenya for the noble project which saw 9 installations of Solar freezers serving over 203 households. The project hopes to reach 900households in the next 1.5years.
Members of the community now state it is much easier to do the business in large scale and they will also have enough supply for the market. They term the development as very sustainable for them and say it will indeed transform how they conduct business. Epicenter Africa is proud to be part of this sustainable transformation.