top of page
WhatsApp Image 2023-02-09 at 6.00.26 AM.jpeg

Cargo tricycle with solar powered fridge on display at TechnoServe event for Nairobi duka group leaders

9. Kenya: Cargo Tricycle Mounted Fridges Operated by Youth as Mobile Selling Points

9.1. History and Results

In the Fall of 2021, after concluding there was insufficient demand in the smallholder dairy sector to absorb the next scheduled production run of two hundred fridges, Rwanda partner Clean Energy Technology suggested repurposing the units as an entrepreneurial opportunity for Youth. The concept was further developed by specifying that the fridges needed to be mobile. The idea was proposed to and favorably received by IFAD. The project was then formalized and fleshed out as a “turnkey business franchise” that could be created and offered to Youth complete with training. Design work began for customizing a cargo tricycle and solar home system to be able to deliver a solar powered fridge as a mobile selling point. NGO Practical Action and the Rwandan National Youth Council expressed interest in developing and implementing a program. However, they both bowed out when additional funding did not materialize and the project was limited to GreenTech’s in-kind contribution of the units.

Rather than abandon the effort, GreenTech obtained permission to take the project to Kenya, where the NGO TechnoServe had expressed interest. TechnoServe saw how the cargo tricycle mounted fridges could enhance their already funded, operating Smart Duka program. TechnoServe would provide the Youth benefactors/customers and training. GreenTech solicited several Last Mile Distributors as implementing in-country partners to handle importation, assembly, sales, financing and support. Mwezi was the only organization to express interest. In addition, Adili Solar Hubs was approached to explore whether their social enterprise buying and selling fish from the artisanal fishers of Lake Turkana could be enhanced by vertically integrating mobile selling points and completing their cold chain. An MOU was put in place and meetings started in April of 2022. A two week in-country visit by the GreenTech Project Manager in November of 2022 solidified plans as production of the units in China was nearing completion and scheduled to ship in December.

9.2. Current Status

194 complete units plus spare parts landed in Nairobi in two shipments in January and March 2023. Field testing revealed that the canopy structure supporting the flexible solar panels needed additional reinforcement to make them sturdier and able to withstand the shocks and sway caused by uneven surface conditions. Modifications to the design have been engineered, prototyped and tested in China. They are were manufactured and shipped to Nairobi in April 2023. A small number of units were air freighted to expedite further field testing and piloting.

Meanwhile, promotion of the units has resulted in considerable interest and a waiting list of customers. The cargo tricycle mounted fridges were displayed at a TechnoServe event as well as the business park in Kikuyu where units are warehoused and assembled. In addition to duka owners, there has been interest from Productive Solar Solutions, a women’s group and fruit farmers that want to process and sell fresh juice. Adili Solar Hubs has also entered in a formal MOU with the Youth group Vijana Twaweza to sell fresh fish in the refugee community of Kakuma near the South Sudan border. They will pilot 30 units altogether, the majority going to Vijana Twaweza. It is anticipated sales will restart in May with all sold within six months.

bottom of page