Kaloko has been receiving generous donations of second-hand bicycles supplied by UK partner Re~Cycle since 2009. Kaloko Zambia sells the bicycles at prices well below the market rate to ensure that they are affordable to the local community, and the funds raised cover the transport costs of the next shipment and help support our projects.
In 2017 we are starting a new Bicycle Distribution Project to specifically help small-scale maize farmers and improve their access to markets. Currently, although the farmers may produce good quantities of grain, they are being offered a very low price by the locally-nicknamed 'briefcase businessmen', roaming entrepreneurial characters who have transport to move produce to market and exploit this advantage to offer unfairly low prices for the grain. Kaloko hopes to empower these farmers and break this cycle. For this new phase of our Bicycle Distribution Project we will target a district where this practice has been particularly prevalent and Kaloko has not provided low cost transport before.
The subsistence farmers who haven’t previously been able to afford the investment cost will be able to buy bicycles extra cheaply and bicycle ownership will significantly improve their ability to move produce to bulk buying centres which offer a much higher price for their produce.
Although the farmers won’t be able to ride their bikes loaded up with sacks of maize they will be able to use them as trolleys to push their grain harvest to the centres, and they should be able to ride home afterwards!
This year we will also be tracking the impact of bicycle distribution on attendance at the local health centre. We know from informal qualitative analysis that bicycles enable sick children and adults to access the health centres when they may otherwise be too poorly to walk the required distance. Although we have been distributing bicycles within the communities for some time, this is the first year that we are specifically tracking the effects of sustainable transport on the health and poverty levels of community members.