Millennium Engineers Enterprises Ltd is a Tanzanian renewable energy company specialised in solar and wind energy technologies. The company is implementing an impact business project that aims to transition the low-income sardine fishing industry in Lake Victoria, away from kerosene lanterns and traditional conventional methods towards cleaner, more affordable renewable energy solutions. The project will help to increase the value of sardines in the global market through innovating two major areas of the sardine fishing industry value chain.
The company was legally registered on 7th June 2016 by the Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA) with registration number 126940. The company provides 'end-to-end' solar and wind energy solutions to public and private projects, resolving energy requirements in urban and rural areas. The company develops customised projects by looking into the needs of a specific community, industry, or business then developing a solution using either or both energy technologies while working alongside the customer to ensure the solution caters to their needs while still addressing cost, culture, efficiency and the environment.
Lake Victoria is the world's second-largest freshwater lake, providing food and jobs for millions of people in Africa. Lake Victoria supplies around 55% of all fish consumption in Africa and over half of the lake’s total yearly catch is a type of sardine (Dagaa) which is caught at night by fishermen.
Fishers spend 40% of their monthly profits on kerosene while risking their health, and their lives, by using pressurised kerosene lanterns that additionally contribute to significant levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Before departing for the night's fishing, all lanterns require small repairs and to be filled with kerosene, of which this process takes approximately three hours each afternoon. Each fishing boat takes eight lanterns for their night’s fishing and pressurises them for lighting once they reach their fishing location. Through the night each lantern is revisited several times to be re-pressurised to maintain its brightness. To preserve the sardine, it is dried on the sandy surfaces of the fishing islands.
The current ways of drying don’t guarantee good quality and constant supply of dry sardine. Heavy rains are the main culprit which washes the sardine away and causes what is left over to rot. On the open sandy beaches, animals and insects have access to the drying sardines where they are free to eat and contaminate it. Particularly during the rainy season fishers can lose up to 30% of their catch, because of this, and the remaining catch ends up having low nutritional value. Often only 30% of the catch is suitable for human consumption and the remaining 70% is used for animal feeds, leading to huge unnecessary food waste and lack of food security.
The industry has limited work opportunities for women further hampering household income. The majority of the communities are dependent upon the fishing industry and as such, other small businesses generate profits based on the primary income flows of the fishing industry.
Millennium Engineers Enterprises deliver the service of:
The total project cost is 500,000 EUR of which 350,000 EUR received from EEP Africa, while 150,000 EUR was raised by the company from other project partners.