Location: Tanzania | |

LUMEN: A Green and Affordable Alternative for Night Fishers

LUMEN is a design team consisting of 5 students from Delft University of Technology. Our design team will collaborate with Sagar Energy Solutions, a start-up in Tanzania that focuses on transforming off-grid communities by providing them with clean and affordable energy. Together with this startup, it is our mission to change the night fishing industry in Tanzania.

The Problem

Our target market is Lake Victoria in East Africa. It’s the world’s second largest fresh water lake and supplies approximately 60% of all the fish consumed in Africa. Furthermore, about 42% of the total yearly catch is the sardine in question, Dagaa, which is caught at night using pressurised kerosene lanterns, with this figure increasing year on year.

Currently, 35,000 boats engage in night fishing activity in Lake Victoria, with each boat carrying an average of 8 lamps. Given that a lantern uses approximately 2.5 Litres of kerosene at the cost of 1.10 USD, it is estimated that each year, 140 million USD is spent on kerosene by the fishermen.

The impact these kerosene lanterns have on the environment is huge. 700,000 Litres of kerosene floats on the lake every night and 240,000 tonnes of CO2 is emitted annually. The kerosene threatens the lake ecosystem and pollutes the catch of the fishermen. Moreover, the lanterns induce imminent fire bursts and cause long-term negative health effects for the fishermen.

The Solution

Our design team will spend 12 weeks in Tanzania to design a lamp that lasts longer, is a lot cheaper in its use and is much safer to use for both the fishermen and the environment. The lamp is deployed with a modular solar charging station that can be expanded to increase the load. Fishermen can charge the lamp during the day and will be provided with enough power to last during an entire night of fishing.

Furthermore, an assembly unit will be set up in Tanzania along with a training program that teaches people in the local fishing communities to assemble the lamps, providing them with an additional source of income.

During the entire project, the impact on the environment, the biodiversity in Lake Victoria and the effects on the incomes of all stakeholders will be measured, to ensure that the project contributes positively to all stakeholders and does not cause any negative side effects.

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