VIDEO: Lake Victoria's fishers are shifting from fossil fuels, thanks to e-boats
Updated: Sep 9
STORY NAME: HOW A STARTUP IN LAKE VICTORIA IS FACILITATING FISHERS TO SWITCH TO E-MOBILITY TO CURB WATER POLLUTION
LOCATION: KISUMU, KENYA
DATE SHOT: 08/10/22
SOUND: NATURAL SOUND WITH ENGLISH AND LUO SPEECH
SOURCE: BIRD STORY AGENCY
ASPECT RATIO: 16.9
ORIGINAL FRAME RATE: 24 fps (progressive).
INTRO: Asobo Kenya Limited, a startup in Lake Victoria is facilitating fishers to switch from using diesel-powered boats to installing electric engines as a way to curb pollution in the lake
SHOWS: LAKE VICTORIA, WESTERN KENYA (RECENT) (ACCESS ALL)
1. FISHERS CASTING FISHING NETS TO FISH
2. LIGHTING A BULB TO ATTRACT FISH
3. SOUNDBITE (LUO): STEVEN OTIEONA ACHILLA, LOCAL FISHER, SAYING:
“It's a long time since I felt the heavy chest pains from manually starting a fuel-powered boat and now I don't have to breathe dirty air.”
4. FISHERS DRAWING FISHING NETS FROM THE LAKE
5. VARIOUS OF LAKE VICTORIA
6. VARIOUS OF BOATS SAILING ON LAKE VICTORIA
7. CHARGING STATION AT ASOBO FACILITY
8. ASOBO FACILITY
9. GABRIEL MAYIO AT ASOBO FACILITY
10. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): GABRIEL MAYIO, OPERATIONS & TECHNICAL DIRECTOR AT ASOBO, SAYING:
“With this continuous pollution of this lake, there is direct effect on the livelihood of this people who depend on this lake. So, Asobo has just come in to sort out that issue. To come and curb the increasing pollution that’s happening in Lake Victoria, not only from the perspective of the environment but also directly for the fishermen themselves.”
11. STAFF AT ASOBO FACILITY
13. FISHERS LOADING THEIR OUTBOARD BATTERIES
14. VARIOUS OF LAKE VICTORIA
15. FISHER INSPECTING FISHING NETS
16. BOATS ON THE SHORES OF LAKE VICTORIA
17. SOUNDBITE (LUO): STEVEN OTIEONA ACHILLA, LOCAL FISHER, SAYING:
“I first heard about Asobo from other fishermen. I took an initiative to witness with my own eyes and even try it. I later joined in training on how to use it, I passed the test and now i am able to use it. it is making fishing smooth (efficient and easier) for me,”
18. VARIOUS OF BOATS AND FISHERS ON LAKE VICTORIA
19. FISHERS SAILING BACK FROM FISHING
20. SMALL FISH BEING OFFLOADED FROM THE BOAT
21. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): GABRIEL MAYIO, OPERATIONS & TECHNICAL DIRECTOR AT ASOBO, SAYING:
“We have seen a positive trend in uptake of motors, one positive thing though that we have seen, is that none of the customers who have ever come in and use electric motors created any doubt or gone back to using an electric engine.”
22. ELECTRIC OUTBOARD ENGINE ON A BOAT AT THE SHORE
23. BEAUTY SHOT OF FISHERS' BOATS ON LAKE VICTORIA
The e-mobility investment provides engines and batteries to the fishers after training and testing them. It then monitors usage and maintenance by providing daily recharging of the batteries and warehousing services.
According to Gabriel Mayio, the operations and technical director at Asobo, pollution caused by oil leaks poses direct health hazards to people who depend on the lake.
“Asobo has come in to sort out this problem by curbing the increasing pollution that’s happening in Lake Victoria, not only from the perspective of the environment but also directly for the fishermen themselves,” he explained.
The lake, Africa’s largest, serves about 50 million people living by its shores, spread across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, directly and indirectly, depending on the lake for fishing activities.
The lake’s biodiversity has been threatened over time by pollution posing a threat to fishing, a prominent economic activity for the fishers and their families.
Beyond the lake’s well-being, fishers acknowledge Asobo for improving their standards of fishing.
“I can now go for a long time before feeling heavy chest pains due to a hard start in fuel-powered boats and I breathe less of the dirty air,” explains Steven Otieno Achilla, a local fisherman.
The new initiative is receiving a positive reception with fishers embracing the initiative and shifting from their fuel-powered boats.
According to Mayio, the operations and technical director, “none of the customers who have ever come in and used electric motors created any doubt or gone back to using an electric engine.”
Asobo has 50 fishers using their services, a number it seeks to double by the end of the year through to the end of the first quarter of 2023. Long-term, it targets to incorporate 5000 fishers into the program in the next five years.