“Fixing the public transport system is not just about making more comfortable travel options available to both men and women at all times of day. It’s also about protecting our environment in the process,” says Sonika Manandhar, who has just been announced as the winner of the prestigious Young Champions of the Earth Prize for Asia and the Pacific by the UN Environment Programme. Sonika is among seven young entrepreneurs under the age of 30 with big ideas for environmental change. Her solution, Green Energy Mobility aims to help women own and upgrade their safa-tempos and use big data to collect traffic patterns to help shape the future of planning and help create efficient transport future.
Green Energy Mobility has three key solutions:
- to make electric transport a safe, clean and affordable option for commuters in Kathmandu and a more viable income earner for safo-tempo drives, mostly women.
- to help safa-tempo upgrade their vehicles to buy new lithium ion batteries which last a full day. Safa-tempo batteries need frequent charging, resulting in lost business during peak commuting hours. The system connects drivers with banks, helping them access loans.
- to gather data through the platform to predict and cut traffic congestion and in the long-term, help to plan more efficient cities. This is done using a system of digital tokens, bought from approved vendors. The tokens allow digital transaction of payments and tracking of data.
As one of the winners, the Green Energy Mobility team will receive seed funding, mentoring and communications support from the UN Environment Programme. Sonika announced the win by sharing a personal video message on Twitter on 19th September. She will be awarded during the Champions of the Earth Ceremony in New York City on 26 September, coinciding with the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting and Climate Action Summit.
Way to go Sonika! Congrats to you and the Green Energy Mobility team.