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== Introduction ==
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Isolation is one of the key elements of poverty; isolated communities have little or no access
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to goods and services, and few opportunities to travel beyond their immediate surroundings.
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This restricts agricultural productivity, reduces health and educational and limits
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opportunities for employment and political opportunity.
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[[Image:bicycle1.jpeg|thumb|250px|left|Figure 1: Cyclist carrying mattresses, Puttalam District. An example of ordinary bicycle used to transport difficult loads. Photo: Practical Action.]]
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Limited financial resources prevents investment in transport maintaining the position of
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poverty and isolation. Consequently,
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there is a need to develop alternative,
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more affordable means of transport
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Developing such systems requires
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consideration of four key elements:<br>
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• the improvement of village level
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infrastructure such as paths,
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tracks, and footbridges<br>
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• the provision of adequate and
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affordable rural transport services<br>
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• the siting of services closer to the
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communities , thereby removing or
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reducing the need for lengthy travel<br>
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• the promotion and use of
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intermediate means of transport
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including; pack animals, sledges,
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animal carts, cycle based transport
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and some low cost motorised
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devices. One of the more common
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types of intermediate transport is
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the bicycle.<br>
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== Bicycles ==
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Bicycles are a low cost means of transport that can improve access to water, health facilities
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and, for example, address stove marketing problems faced by woman producer groups in
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Kenya.
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The bicycle is still expensive for poorer families in Africa and can cost between 20 to over
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100 per cent of a rural household’s annual income. Therefore, transport needs to be
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supported by an affordable system of manufacture, supply, and repair.
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Affordability is related to the availability of spare parts and repair services, which are
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sometime lacking in rural areas. Several projects have attempted to boost local economics
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by encouraging artisanal production of suitable transport and improve the local capabilities of
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metal workers to maintain and repair bicycles and other types of transport.
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== Panniers ==
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The carrying capacity of the bicycle can be greatly increased by attaching panniers either
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side of the wheel. However, the loads in the panniers must be reasonably well balanced.
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Panniers are particularly suited to carrying containers such as used for carrying water.
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Panniers may simply be sacks or woven baskets hung from lengths of wood or bamboo fixed
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across the carrier or may be frames manufactured from wood or steel. They need to be as
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light as possible.
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The design shown is a steel frame, which may be either welded or pinned together so that it
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can be folded up when it is not in use.
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The base and sides may be filled in with wire mesh (weldmesh), wooden slats or canvas
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type material. The ends can be filled in on fixed panniers but not on fold-up designs.
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[[Image:bicycles_construction_panniers.jpg|thumb|900px|center|Figure 2: Construction of panniers]]
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===Bicycle extensions===
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These low cost adaptations of standard bicycles enable larger and more bulky loads to be
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carried on an extended rear carrier.
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The load that can be carried is limited by the strength of the rear wheel and tyre. A
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strengthened wheel can be used so that the limiting factor is the load capacity of the tyre.
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[[Image:bicycle_extended_bicycle.jpg|thumb|250px|left|Figure 3: Extended bicycle Photo: Practical Action]]
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{|border="1"
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|-
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|bgcolor="silver"|
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Extended cycle user, W
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Aloysius Fernando, cultivator of
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mainly plantains & peanuts,
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sells peanuts in nearby towns.
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With the extended cycle, he can
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now transport enough to meet
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demand (1200 packets as
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oppose to 400 packets on his
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original bicycle). With increased
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business earnings he began to
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cultivate a larger area of land
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and could hire a peanut shelling
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machine.
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|}
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This particular bicycle adaptation requires; the chain to be lengthened, the brackets for the
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rear break to be moved, and the brake rods to be lengthened. The frame does not have to
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be cut or modified in any way.
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[[Image:bicycles_extentions.jpg|thumb|900px|center|Figure 4: Construction of extension for a standard bicycle]]
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===Construction of extension with small (20”) rear wheel===
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The advantages of a small rear wheel are; there is more space for the load, the load is lower
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and easier to balance, the wheel is stronger, and the bicycle is easier to pedal. The main
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disadvantage is that the smaller wheel does not ride as easily over pumps and potholes.
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[[Image:bicycles__panniers20in.jpg|thumb|900px|center|Figure 5: Construction of extension with small (20”) rear wheel]]
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===Bicycle taxis===
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The Bicycle taxi or boda boda has become popular in Uganda and Kenya, they operate for
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hire from stands in towns, bus stops and market centres. The name boda boda is said to
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come from the time when the East African Community existed and there was free movement
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across the boarder between Uganda and Kenya. Travellers were offered transport to the
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boarder by bicycle-riders shouting ‘Border Border’ to attract passengers.
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Converting a bicycle to a taxi requires reinforced forks, stronger brakes, a passenger seat
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and footrests, and cushions. New seat designs enable woman to ride side-addle should help
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to improve access.
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Although the work is hard, the operators can earn a living despite a lack of formal education.
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The community transport organisation in Ndhiwa and The Kibos Cycle Taxi Association of
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Kisumu, Western Kenya worked in conjunction with Practical Action East Africa to:<br>
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• enhance the safety of bicycle taxis<br>
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• provide a cycle lane along the Kibos road<br>
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• set up a mini-medical insurance scheme for passengers and operators<br>
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• provide a credit scheme and repair fund for the members
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== References and further reading ==
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• Bicycle Trailers Practical Action Technical Brief<br>
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• Low-cost Load-carrying Devices: The Design & Manufacture of Some Basic Means
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of Transport Ron Dennis and Alan Smith ITDG Publishing 1995<br>
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• Puncture Prevention Techniques for Low Cost Vehicles Michael Ayre & Alan Smith<br>
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• The Impact of Road Condition on Operating Costs of Bicycles, IT Transport, 2004,
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DFID. http://www.ittransport.co.uk/index.php?page=publications<br>
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• Forum News, IFRTD
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A quarterly newsletter looking at the issues of transport with animal power, bridges,
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bicycles, gender and transport, financing, engineering, sustainable rural livelihoods,
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and community planning. Forum News is produced four times a year in English,
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French and Spanish.
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== Useful contacts and addresses ==
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International Forum for Rural Transport and Development - IFRTD<br>
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2 Spitfire Studios<br>
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67-73 Collier Street<br>
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London N1 9BE<br>
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United Kingdom<br>
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Tel: +44 (0)20 7713 6699<br>
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Fax: +44 (0)20 7713 8290<br>
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Email: ifrtd@gn.apc.org<br>
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Website: http://ifrtd.gn.apc.org/<br>
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The International Forum for Rural Transport and Development is a global network of
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individuals and representatives from government, academia, multilateral and bilateral donor
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agencies, consultancies and technical institutions, national and international NGOs and
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groups of community organisations in Africa, Asia, Europe and North and South America.
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I. T. Transport Ltd.<br>
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The Old Power Station<br>
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Ardington, Nr Wantage<br>
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Oxon<br>
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OX12 8QJ<br>
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United Kingdom<br>
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Tel: +44 1235 833753 /821366<br>
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Fax: +44 1235 833753/821366<br>
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E-mail: itt@ittransport.co.uk<br>
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Website: http://www.ittransport.co.uk/<br>
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Consultants in transport for rural development
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International Bicycle Fund<br>
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4887 Columbia Dr S<br>
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Seattle WA 98108-1919<br>
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USA<br>
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Website: http://www.ibike.org/index.htm<br>
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A non-governmental, non-profit, advocacy organisation, promoting sustainable transport and
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international understanding. Major areas of activity are non-motorised urban planning,
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economic development, bike safety education, responsible travel and cycle tourism, and
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cross-cultural, educational programmes.<br>
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Pan Africa Bicycle Information Network (PABIN)<br>
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Website: http://www.ibike.org/pabin/index.htm<br>
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Working to improve opportunities for bicycle transport and low-cost mobility to improve
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productivity, the quality of life and the environment in Africa.<br>
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Re~Cycle<br>
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Unit A Global Park<br>
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Moorside<br>
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Colchester<br>
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Essex, CO1 2TW<br>
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United Kingdom<br>
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Tel: 0845 4580 852 or 01206 863111<br>
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Email: mailbox@afribike.org<br>
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Website: www.re-cycle.org<br>
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Re-cycle is a charity whose mission is to collect and ship second hand bicycles and parts to
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less developed countries. Re-cycle helps to teach local people the skills of how to repair and
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maintain bicycles, to improve their lives in a sustainable manner.<br>
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First African Bicycle<br>
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Information Office<br>
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PO Box 1537<br>
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Jinja<br>
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Uganda<br>
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Tel: 00256-77-620312<br>
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E-mail: africa.bike@jessas.de<br>
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http://www.jessas.de/index.html<br>
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FABIO (First African Bicycle Information Office) is providing literature and videos on bicycles
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as sustainable means of transport and is organising national and international seminars on
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bicycle-awareness. There is a bicycle-workshop and training-centre for youths in assembling
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and maintenance of bicycles.<br>
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Cycling out of Poverty<br>
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info@cyclingoutofpoverty.com<br>
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http://www.cyclingoutofpoverty.com/<br>
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Cycling out or Poverty is a Dutch organisation engaged in raising funds for bicycle micro
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credit projects in Africa. Cycling out of Poverty is running 3 projects: in Uganda, Burkina
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Faso and Ghana.<br>
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Jacana Real World Development<br>
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1321-B North Carolina Avenue NE<br>
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Washington, D.C. 20002, USA<br>
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E-mail: info@jacanaworld.org<br>
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Website: http://www.jacanaworld.org<br>
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Jacana has been working on the Build A Better Bicycle (BABB) project. The objective of the
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BABB project is to commercialise a bicycle designed specifically for use in demanding
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African conditions. They have an office in Mozambique. Jacana is a member of bicycles for
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Humanity.<br>
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Bicycle Empowerment Network - BEN Namibia<br>
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PO Box 23150<br>
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Windhoek<br>
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Namibia<br>
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Tel: +264 61 250 200<br>
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Fax: +264 61 225 006<br>
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E-mail: michael@benbikes.org.za<br>
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Website: www.benbikes.org.za/namibia<br>
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BEN import donated new and secondhand bikes from partner organisations and refurbish them by
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employing and training local people. They distribute bicycles to community-based organisations
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(CBOs) whose staff in their work. BEN is a member of Bicycles for Humanity. They are supported by
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biking for Bikes http://www.biking4bikes.com.au/.<br>
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Bicycles for Humanity<br>
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E-mail: info@bicycles-for-humanity.org<br>
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Website: http://www.bicycles-for-humanity.org/<br>
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Bicycles for Humanity began in 2005 with the aim of enabling others to raise funds and collect
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unwanted bicycles to send to reliable partners in developing countries.<br>
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== Wikis ==
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HowtoPedia http://www.howtopedia.org/en/How_to_use_a_Bicycle_to_carry_things<br>
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Appropedia http://www.appropedia.org/BICYCLE
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{|border="1"
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|-
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|bgcolor="silver"|'''Practical Action'''
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The Schumacher Centre for Technology and Development<br>
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Bourton-on-Dunsmore<br>
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Rugby, Warwickshire, CV23 9QZ<br>
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United Kingdom<br>
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Tel: +44 (0)1926 634400<br>
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Fax: +44 (0)1926 634401<br>
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E-mail: inforserv@practicalaction.org.uk<br>
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Website: http://www.practicalaction.org/<br>
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This document was produced by Neil Noble for Practical Action and last updated
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in January 2007.
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|}
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{{Includes content from}}
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[[Category:Transport]]

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