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Danish firm offers fish farmers coolers

Fishermen in Lake Turkana
Fishermen in Lake Turkana carrying dry fish to the shore. Many fishermen cannot afford to by cooling equipment. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Global temperatures have been steadily and rapidly rising more so over the past two decades.

Luckily, there is good news for a section of Kenya’s fishing community thanks to innovation from MYPAG, a Danish firm, which has given fishermen access to off-grid cooling facilities for their catch.

According to the latest findings from Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) report, Chilling Prospects, Tracking Sustainable Cooling for All 2019, a staggering 1.05 billion people globally are at risk of lacking access to cooling.

Remarkably, the initiative by MYPAG is set to alleviate this burden by offering relief to Kenyan fishermen.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) there are 150,000 fishermen in Kenya. Collectively they harvest an estimated 187,000 tons of fresh seafood. Shockingly, an estimated one-third of the country's post-harvest seafood is lost before it can be sold and safely consumed, due to lack of accessible refrigeration facilities.

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“As the world rapidly urbanises and temperatures only grow, we risk a significant increase in the number of people without access to sustainable cooling. By 2030, the cost of productivity losses will be $2 trillion, and it will be the developing world that suffers the greatest "productivity penalty" as they deal with record temperatures and lack of cooling, stunting economic growth and further exacerbating global cooling inequity,” said António Mexia, Chairman of the SEforALL Administrative Board and CEO of Energias de Portugal (EDP).

To curb this, the Worldwide Fund for Nature in partnership with the Danish clean energy company is providing fishing communities with affordable off-grid solar-powered cooling appliances.

The main market barriers for providing such cooling facilities to the sector, according to the SEforALL report, are that the small-scale fishers are unbanked and lack access to credit in order to invest in cold storage equipment. Additionally, many of the fishing-dependent communities are either off-grid or do not have access to reliable and affordable electricity to run such equipment, as only 30 per cent of the Kenyan population have access to reliable electricity from their findings.

"As the world rapidly urbanises and temperatures only grow, we risk a significant increase in the number of people without access to sustainable cooling," said António Mexia, Chairman of the SEforALL Administrative Board and CEO of Energias de Portugal (EDP).”

This year’s report, the second in SEforALL’s Chilling Prospects series, revealed that the ‘urban poor’, those who live in cities yet lack reliable access to electricity are at the highest risk of lacking access to cooling facilities. Across rural parts of the African continent there are about 365 million people also at high risk.

A further 2.2 billion in the lower middle class are only able to afford cheaper, less energy efficient air conditioners.

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