Isolation is one of the key elements of poverty; isolated communities have little or no access to goods and services, and few opportunities to travel beyond their immediate surroundings. This restricts agricultural productivity, reduces health and educational and limits opportunities for employment and political opportunity. Limited financial resource prevents investment in transport maintaining the position of poverty and isolation. Consequently, there is a need to develop alternative, more affordable means of transport Developing such systems requires consideration of four key elements: • the improvement of village level infrastructure such as paths, tracks, and footbridges • the provision of adequate and affordable rural transport services • the siting of services closer to the communities, thereby removing or reducing the need for lengthy travel the promotion and use of intermediate means of transport including; pack animals, sledges, animal carts, cycle based transport and some low cost motorised devices. One of the more common types of intermediate transport is the bicycle.
Figure 1: Cyclist carrying mattresses, Puttalam District. An example of ordinary bicycle used to transport difficult loads. Photo: Practical Action.
Bicycles are a low cost means of transport that can improve access to water, health facilities and, for example, address stove marketing problems faced by woman producer groups in Kenya The bicycle is still expensive for poorer families in Africa and can cost between 20 to over 100 per cent of a rural household’s annual income. Therefore, transport needs to be supported by an affordable system of manufacture, supply, and repair. Affordability is related to the availability of spare parts and repair services, which are sometime lacking in rural areas. Several projects have attempted to boost local economics by encouraging artisanal production of suitable transport and improve the local capabilities of metal workers to maintain and repair bicycles and other types of transport.
Practical Action, The Schumacher Centre, Bourton on Dunsmore, Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 9QZ, UK T +44 (0)1926 634400 | F +44 (0)1926 634401 | E email@example.com | W www.practicalaction.org ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Practical Action is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee. Company Reg. No. 871954, England | Reg. Charity No.247257 | VAT No. 880 9924 76 | Patron HRH The Prince of Wales, KG, KT, GCB
Panniers Panniers The carrying capacity of the bicycle can be greatly increased by attaching panniers either side of the wheel. However, the loads in the panniers must be reasonably well balanced. Panniers are particularly suited to carrying containers such as used for carrying water. Panniers may simply be sacks or woven baskets hung from lengths of wood or bamboo fixed across the carrier or may be frames manufactured from wood or steel. They need to be as light as possible. The design shown is a steel frame, which may be either welded or pinned together so that it can be folded up when it is not in use. The base and sides may be filled in with wire mesh (weldmesh), wooden slats or canvas type material. The ends can be filled in on fixed panniers but not on fold-up designs.
Carriers need to be strengthened to support panniers. Make the inner members from 20x20x3 or 25x25x3 angle 560 Move stays 500 Bolt to bicycle 140
Figure 2: Construction of panniers
Bicycle Bicycle extensions
These low cost adaptations of standard bicycles enable larger and more bulky loads to be carried on an extended rear carrier. The load that can be carried is limited by the strength of the rear wheel and tyre. A strengthened wheel can be used so that the limiting factor is the load capacity of the tyre.
Extended cycle user, W Aloysius Fernando, cultivator of mainly plantains & peanuts, sells peanuts in nearby towns. With the extended cycle, he can now transport enough to meet demand (1200 packets as oppose to 400 packets on his original bicycle). With increased business earnings he began to cultivate a larger area of land and could hire a peanut shelling machine. Figure 3: Extended bicycle Photo: Practical Action
This particular bicycle adaptation requires; the chain to be lengthened, the brackets for the rear break to be moved, and the brake rods to be lengthened. The frame does not have to be cut or modified in any way. Bolt to bicycle 800
250 Bolt to Frame Wheel support frame Wheel moved by 250 mm
Figure 4: Construction of extension for a standard bicycle
Construction Construction of extension with small (20”) rear wheel The advantages of a small rear wheel are; there is more space for the load, the load is lower and easier to balance, the wheel is stronger, and the bicycle is easier to pedal. The main disadvantage is that the smaller wheel does not ride as easily over pumps and potholes. Figure 5: Construction of extension with small (20”) rear wheel Carrier & container
Support bar Support stays
Bolt to bicycle frame at these points
Carrier & container
Bicycle Bicycle taxis
The Bicycle taxi or boda boda has become popular in Uganda and Kenya, they operate for hire from stands in towns, bus stops and market centres. The name boda boda is said to come from the time when the East African Community existed and there was free movement across the boarder between Uganda and Kenya. Travellers were offered transport to the boarder by bicycle-riders shouting ‘Border Border’ to attract passengers. Converting a bicycle to a taxi requires reinforced forks, stronger brakes, a passenger seat and footrests, and cushions. New seat designs enable woman to ride side-addle should help to improve access. Although the work is hard, the operators can earn a living despite a lack of formal education. The community transport organisation in Ndhiwa and The Kibos Cycle Taxi Association of Kisumu, Western Kenya worked in conjunction with Practical Action East Africa to: • • • • enhance the safety of bicycle taxis provide a cycle lane along the Kibos road set up a mini-medical insurance scheme for passengers and operators provide a credit scheme and repair fund for the members
References References and further reading
• • • • • • • • •
Bicycle Trailers Practical Action Technical Brief Bicycle Ambulances Practical Action Technical Brief The Design of Bicycle Trailers Ayre,Michael, Practical Action Publishing 1986 Rural Transport in Developing Countries Ian Barwell with G. A. Edmonds et al,
Practical Action Publishing 1985
Low-cost Vehicles: Options for moving people and goods Gordon Hathway, Practical
Action Publishing 1985
Low-cost Load-carrying Devices: The Design & Manufacture of Some Basic Means of Transport Ron Dennis and Alan Smith Practical Action Publishing 1995 Puncture Prevention Techniques for Low Cost Vehicles Michael Ayre & Alan Smith,
Practical Action Publishing 1987
The Impact of Road Condition on Operating Costs of Bicycles, IT Transport, 2004,
Forum News, IFRTD
A quarterly newsletter looking at the issues of transport with animal power, bridges, bicycles, gender and transport, financing, engineering, sustainable rural livelihoods, and community planning. Forum News is produced four times a year in English, French and Spanish.
Useful Useful contacts and addresses
International Forum for Rural Transport and Development - IFRTD CAN Mezzanine 49-51 East Road London N1 6AH United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 20 7250 8323 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7250 8322 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Websites: www.ifrtd.org www.mobilityandhealth.org www.ruralwaterways.org The International Forum for Rural Transport and Development is a global network of individuals and representatives from government, academia, multilateral and bilateral donor agencies, consultancies and technical institutions, national and international NGOs and groups of community organisations in Africa, Asia, Europe and North and South America. I. T. Transport Ltd. The Old Power Station Ardington, Nr Wantage Oxon OX12 8QJ United Kingdom Tel: +44 1235 833753 /821366 Fax: +44 1235 833753/821366 E-mail: email@example.com Website: http://www.ittransport.co.uk/ Consultants in transport for rural development
By Neil Noble, Published by Practical Action on 05/02/09
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