GNF - Aims Lake Victoria

Project Aim and Interventions

The major aim is to promote the use of energy efficient techniques and solar technologies in order to improve the standard of living for rural communities and to contribute to the conservation of the Lake Victoria environment. Therefore OSIENALA and GNF have identified five priorities for interventions:

Solar lighting for night fishing
Fishing of the Lake Victoria Sardine (Rastrineobola argentea - locally called "dagaa" or "omena") is usually carried out in groups of friends or kinsmen (about 5 fishermen per boat) using several kerosene pressure lamps. Kerosene is usually stored in the fishing canoes. This small fish is attracted by light and therefore fishermen use these kerosene lamps at night to attract the fish to the location of the lamps where they cast their nets and draw the fish into the boats. Several hundreds of these lamps are used in the lake at night for this purpose. This practice is prone to kerosene spillage, which further pollutes the lake. In addition to problems of transporting large numbers of lamps in a boat, the lamps themselves occasionally fail to function due to technical problems or are extinguished by strong winds.


Solar lanterns will greatly improve the "dagaa" fishing conditions and cut operational costs and is definitely the best alternative since they are environmentally clean. The money that would otherwise be spent on paraffin could be saved and used for other pressing needs.

The number of fishing boats involved in "dagaa" fishing is estimated to be about 5,000. As a result of capacity building, demonstration and promotion, it is expected that 200 fishing boats will be using solar lighting for fishing. The existing grouping structures among fishers can be used for easy acquisition of photovoltaic systems.

Water purification facilities at landing beaches
The fish landing beaches at Lake Victoria very often lack clean water. Therefore, water purification facilities will be installed at beaches, which are often crowded by both fishermen and fish mongers / traders. PV systems will be used to pump water into a 2,000 l filter tanks from where water flows by the force of gravity into the collection points.


Charcoal Coolers for fish preservation

Lack of fish storage facilities at the landing beaches is a major bottleneck to local fishing industry. Fisher folks are unable to bargain for the right price for their fish due to high perishableness of this product, which forces them to sell it as soon as it comes out of water.

Buyers, knowing this fact, stubbornly offer very low prices for fish. A possible and simple fish preservation alternative will be implemented. This is a small storage hut whose wall is constructed with charcoal. During the day when it is hot, water is sprayed onto the wall using PV pumps and the process of evaporation removes the heat from inside the hut and so the temperature inside the hut remains low enough to preserve the fish for at least three days.

Fish smoking and firing of bricks are already established business ventures in the Lake Victoria region. Currently people use traditional fish smoking kilns but they are very inefficient in terms of wood fuel consumption and users are exposed to a lot of emitted carbon dioxide/monoxide. During the project suitable kilns are constructed for fish smoking to reduce wood consumption. These kilns will be improved versions of traditional kilns and will be constructed by trained artisans on an income-generation basis. Women in 20 villages will be trained in the use of the improved kilns.


Introduction of fuel briquette machines
Hand-operated fuel briquette machines to compact sawdust and other biomass wastes into convenient shapes that can be used as fuel in existing popular stoves will be introduced. The target group will be trained to manufacture the fuel briquette machines. Saw dust and wood chips are readily and freely available at the local carpentry shops while heaps of dried tree leaves are a common site in schools.