Project Dagaa

"Using user-centred design to improve the lives of the fishing community in Tanzania"

Lake Victoria is the world’s largest tropical lake, providing food and jobs for millions of people in Africa. The fishermen at Lake Victoria fish for dagaa (a sort sardine). Unfortunately, current ways of drying to preserve the fish cannot guarantee a good quality and constant supply of dry fish.

Project Dagaa, a multidisciplinary design team from Delft University of Technology designed ‘Upepo’ in cooperation with the Tanzanian company Sagar Energy Solutions. Upepo is a sustainable fish drying solution for the fishing community around Lake Victoria, which stabilises the quantity and quality of dagaa to achieve food security, boost the local economy and establish positive social impact.

Project Dagaa built different prototypes and tested in the context in Mwanza and the fishing island Ziragula. In the Netherlands, the final design of Upepo was created.

‘Upepo’ is a drying greenhouse for dagaa, which combines solar drying and ventilation to create ideal drying circumstances for drying dagaa. Upepo ensures that the three causes of post-harvest losses are solved, namely rotting and spoilage of the dagaa, as well as sand contamination and predators removing quantities of dagaa. Upepo can be produced and assembled locally. The business model will be a product-service-system where the product can be rented, to create affordability.

The fund from FAST made it possible for the team to go to Tanzania and do this project in collaboration with local fishermen and other stakeholders of the fishing community.

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