Grow Your Own Bike
Bernice Dapaah, executive director of Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative, not only created eco-friendly bikes for her country but also helped to increase employment for her community. Dapaah has revolutionized how transportation works for Ghana.
The Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative aims to promote environmental health by using eco-friendly vehicles that not only helps the environment by reducing emissions but also helps its people have a stable income. The project is opting to use an abundant source of material that is cheap and durable and also very available.
Dapaah has currently trained and employed 35 people, some of which are disabled, and is still looking for a brighter future. She hopes that in the near future, each person she trains could train more, leading to a larger scale production in their country.
The project uses bamboo for the frames of their bicycles, which are mostly processed in their factory by hand. The designs on the bikes are made by hand which makes the effects very endearing due to its unique flair. For those who question the environmental awareness of the product, the answer is “yes, the frames are fully recyclable”.
Most of us would argue that the use of bamboo for this kind of project would just result to the deforestation of bamboo patches; but this is not the case for Ghana. The project vows that for every shoot they take, they plant ten in return. This is to ensure that the bamboo plants would still be available for the next generations to come.
The income of the project does not only benefit the workers. Dapaah also provides free bikes to the community. She said that since most of her workers are often seen walking to work, why not give them their own bike so they would be able to travel at an easier pace.