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Motorboat company launches electric fishing boats on Lake Victoria

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Copyright © africanews
SIMON MAINA/AFP or licensors

Kenya

A start-up based in Kenya, known as Asobo, is offering replacement electric engines which come at a lower cost and are more environmentally friendly.

Tens of thousands of fishing boats head out on Kenya's Lake Victoria every day, powered by expensive, unreliable, and polluting petrol engines.

Asobo’s goal is to massively reduce the negative impact of fuel emissions on Lake Victoria in East Africa, the world’s second-largest freshwater lake.

"For the community at large, what we are doing is reducing massively CO2 and other negative emissions into the air, as well as reducing oil pollution into the lake which is all associated with the use of petrol engines. So over time, what we with our model hope to also contribute is a much cleaner environment," Laurens Friso, Co-founder, and CEO of ASOBO said.

ASOBO started business operations in February 2020. Its aim is to convince as many fishermen as possible to switch to a high-tech electric drive.

The initiative is also training fishermen to use the new electric drive efficiently, charging the Torqeedo Power 24-3500 batteries with 3.5 kWh and offering a backup service.

"It is easy and cheap for me because even on a bad day when we get a small catch or no catch at all, ASOBO still gives us the engine and batteries and we can pay later, I don’t go begging the pump owners for petrol. Instead, I just inform the ASOBO team and they bring the batteries and I go to the lake to fish," Linet Achieng’ Rogo, Boat owner said.

ASOBO is seeking to expand the business to people in Uganda and Senega.