African green start-ups win international award for transforming everyday life
Three start-ups in the East African region dedicated to environmental research won an international award on Monday for undertaking projects that transform people’s lives directly on the ground.
UK charity Ashden, which rewards groundbreaking green energy projects, said the three East African start-ups won the 2017 Ashden Awards for their breakthrough in low-carbon development .
“From the development of solar-powered irrigation pumps to the promotion of low-carbon buildings, to the installation of powerful solar energy systems in homes, these three companies have been recognized as leaders in their domain on a regional scale ”, indicates this charitable organization.
These three green start-ups include Futurepump, efficient and portable to Kenyan smallholder farmers; Haileybury Youth Trust, a charity that trains Ugandan youth in housing construction using compacted earth; and Mobisol, which sells solar energy systems to consumers.
Futurepump has been recognized for its pioneering contribution to irrigation technology that enables smallholder farmers to reduce their carbon footprint and water use, while increasing their income.
Members of the Ashden jury praised the solar-powered irrigation technology as a new deal for climate-resistant food production in the region.
“Futurepump’s pioneering solar-powered irrigation technology is helping smallholder farmers irrigate more land and achieve sustainable crops year-round, simultaneously increasing their productivity and income,” said they commented.
The use of diesel-powered irrigation systems is not only costly for smallholder farmers but also exacerbates the air and water pollution crisis, they said.
Uganda-based Haileybury Youth Trust has offered jobs to local youth involved in making buildings made from interlocking blocks of compacted earth, an alternative technology to replace environmentally harmful bricks.
The judges observed that this construction technology had reduced deforestation and carbon emissions while generating a positive impact on health and local communities.
Mobisol, the company winning the Ashden Special Jury Prize, has installed 80,000 home energy systems using solar energy, benefiting 400,000 people in East Africa.
This solar technology allows consumers to power their home appliances, such as refrigerators, televisions and mobile phones at an affordable price.
Thomas Duveau, Strategic Director at Mobisol, observed that solutions using solar energy, produced to measure for households and small businesses, will make it possible to fill the region’s enormous deficit in terms of access to energy, while by supporting economic growth.