Can a solar-power fridge get more people vaccinated?
12 Jan 2022

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“You get so excited when you have, like a ‘bingo’, or a lightbulb idea! Then you get to the nitty-gritty of actualising it.”

It’s the spring of 2021 and engineer, Norah Magero, is talking about the refrigerator she designed after some local dairy farmers asked her to come up with something to help them keep their milk fresh on route to market.

Ms Magero is co-founder and chief executive of Drop Access, an organisation which finds sustainable solutions to support rural communities in Kenya.

She came up with a nifty fridge design for the dairy famers, which could be powered by the sun, included a USB port for a mobile phone and was small enough to fit on a bicycle or motorbike.

“To be affordable, it has to be small,” she explains. “And if it’s small, why not carry it directly from the farm to the market, by tying it on your motorbike. It’s portable, because if they’re going to walk, or move, for three kilometres, they can’t carry all of that.”

But when the time came to transition the design from drawing-board to build, her team hit a roadblock. Sourcing the parts they needed in Kenya proved really challenging, forcing her initially to look much further afield.