How solar-powered refrigerators are empowering fishing communities in Tanzania

Majority of small-scale fishers in Tanzania have been facing critical challenges in storing their catches as they conduct their activities in areas with no grid electricity to power their refrigerators.

In some localities, it’s nearly impossible for the fishers and fish mongers to store their produce because most of them have no access to electricity that could help to operate the refrigerators for storing their produce.

The best option they have for now is to keep their fish in ice boxes that must be refilled with ice cubes daily. These ice blocks are bought in nearby localities with electricity, adding more costs in doing business in terms of transport, basic product price and time. In worse case scenarios when fish traders do not have money, they are required to exchange fish with traders to get the ice cubes.

Some of traders who does not have refrigerators opts to sells their fresh produce right after the catch because of the fear to sell at low prices during evening time where there is a big possibility of their produce to rot and cause loss.

The ever-increasing costs of storing fish due to lack of reliable refrigerators, is reducing the efforts in fighting poverty through the fishing industry.

Most communities living along water bodies in Tanzania such as Lake Victoria, Indian ocean, Lake Tanganyika and great rivers their livelihoods depend on fishing as their main source of income. This means the ability to buy food and other necessities is highly dependent on the growth rate of their fishing activities.