This InARoaD laureate addresses the quadruple problems of climate change, poverty, rural-urban migration and high unemployment amongst youth by creating sustainable livelihood job skills as bamboo bike builders. The project produces high-quality multipurpose bikes, made from an abundant local resource, that are appropriate for specific local needs and the country’s high terrain.
Contrary to expensive and generally ill-adapted imported models, the bamboo bikes produced by this InARoaD project can be used for personal or cargo transportation, as well as for commercial purposes. They can carry a much heavier load and are far more durable than most foreign models due to their better design and greater strength. When repairs are needed, the vocational dimension of the project ensures that the necessary knowledge, tools and materials are locally available.
The end users of the bicycles – rural Ghanaians employed mostly within the agricultural sector – have significantly increased their productivity and efficiency as a direct result of the project. Rural inhabitants are able to transport more goods over longer distances and in a shorter time. The decrease in travel time also allows for more time to be devoted to productive activity and to selling produce. Other local farmers are engaged in bamboo plantation to feed the factory and they are able to sell the surplus for charcoal production or for use in the manufacture of handicrafts and electric poles.
Because bamboo bicycles are light and can handle rough terrain while carrying large loads, they are ideal for use in emergency and non-emergency situations for the transport of medical professionals and patients. By increasing bicycle use, as well as the affordability and availability of bicycles in rural areas, the school enrolment and attendance for rural children have been raised.