Monday, April 15, 2024

Meet the Woman Making Bamboo Bikes in Ghana

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Bernice Dapaah calls bamboo “a miracle plant,” because it grows so fast and absorbs carbon. But it can also work wonders for children’s education and women’s employment – as she’s discovered.

Bamboo is abundant in her native Ghana, where she runs a social enterprise that employs women to transform it into bicycles which are exported all over the world.

Cycling is well known as being a low-carbon form of transport – but Dapaah is making it even more sustainable.

For every bamboo plant that is cut down to make a bike, Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative plants 10 more. Bamboo is stronger than steel in terms of tensile strength and is a cheaper, more sustainable material. It also takes less electricity to make a bamboo bike than a metal one. And the frame is completely recyclable.

“The reason we use bamboo to manufacture bicycles is because it’s found abundantly in Ghana and this is not a material we’re going to import,” says Dapaah, one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders.

“It’s a new innovation. There were no existing bamboo bike builders in our country, so we were the first people trying to see how best we could utilize the abundant bamboo in Ghana.” Read more…

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