Profile: Tecla Mariwa – East Africa

Sunday September 10th, 2017 - Smart Villages

12. TeclaWhat is your off-grid energy business?
Manufacturing of portable bio-gas for generation of cooking energy and organic fertilizers.

Can you give a brief overview?
Lack of adequate cooking energy has been one of the major problems in the country.
Many people utilize charcoal and firewood which is not an environmental friendly source of energy. However, there are other cooking energies which are cheap but not highly utilized in the country. Bio-gas is among the cheapest cooking energies and gives organic fertilizers as an additional product. However, many societies in the country do not utilize it dueto lack of awareness; and despite of that, the few people who are aware do not practice it due to complications involved during installation and its low calorific value.
The business aims at designing portable bio-gas which will use organic waste as a raw material. The portable bio-gas will be designed in such a manner that it will
be easy to operate and it will not need any major installations, and it could be
moved from one area to another easily. Also, the business added an additional
feature to the system which will purify the gas hence increasing its calorific value.
Once the business is successful, it will solve the problem of cooking energy which affects a lot of people in the country. It will also provide cheap fertilizer for the communities practicing agriculture. And finally, it will solve the problem of waste management which is a major problem in Tanzania.
What inspired you to start working in off-grid energy?  Are there any key people
who inspired you to work in this area?
What inspired me to work in off grid is the desire to solve the problem of lack of
adequate and clean cooking energy in the country.

Have you lived in an off-grid community?  If the answer is yes, what is something
You want people with reliable energy to know about growing up off-grid? No, I have not lived in an off-grid community.

What is the most important thing you have learnt so far by being on the off-grid energy track?
I have learnt on idea generation, screening, team work and different business skills.

What are some of the challenges you have faced when coming up with an off-grid energy business?
The main challenge that I faced is lack of awareness among the society on different off-grid energy. To establish the business, the time has to be set for promoting awareness among the people.

Where do you hope to be 3 years from now?
To be a successful entrepreneur with a lot of experience and skills.