INTRODUCTION OF ERIC KARIUKI
“I believe we are all part of the revolving cogwheel of climate change mitigation, and we all have to play our part. ISA provides me with an ideal platform to play my part.”
Eric G. Kariuki is an Industrial Biotechnologist and Bioinformatician, and the founder of Aquaethanol Technologies, a biotech enterprise that develops clean and affordable cooking fuel solutions for low-income peri-urban and rural households in Kenya from the invasive water hyacinth weed. Through his enterprise, Eric hopes to harness the power of renewable energy to mitigate climate change from fossil fuel emissions.
His ISA project aims at using Earth Observation (EO) surveys to map out water hyacinth reserves in Lake Victoria to understand the growth patterns of this invasive plant. He plans to test market-ready fuel products for Aquaethanol’s forthcoming pilot plant project in the Lake Victoria basin in Kenya. The results will enable his enterprise to develop a sustainable model of water hyacinth utilization and risk mitigation for biofuel production. He intends to accomplish this by collaborating with the local communities, who have been adversely affected by the encroachment of water hyacinth that has impacted the fishing, transport, and tourism sectors which are the bedrock of the region’s economy.