Bangladesh suffered widespread damage as a result of Cyclone Amphan. Yet the Sundarbans mangrove forest acted as a natural barrier protecting the country from further destruction, as it has done countless times before.
Bamboo bicycles: a Ghanaian enterprise becomes social and eco-friendly
Bamboo bicycles become a low-impact source of wealth: Ghana bamboo bikes initiative is a social enterprise that has put sustainability at its heart.
Ghana relies on bamboo bikes to revive its economy and promote the use of eco-friendly means of transport. Ghana bamboo bikes initiative is a social enterprise that cares about four important issues: climate change, poverty, migration from rural areas to cities and the high unemployment rate among young people in rural Ghana.
This NGO managed to hire and train women and young people (25 bike builders and 10 farmers), some of whom are disabled. The profit allows the buciness to donate some bikes to the local community and in particular to children and teenagers who usually have to walk many kilometres to go to school.
Bamboo bicycles, why are they so eco-friendly
Bernice Dapaah, founder of Ghana bamboo bikes initiative, made bikes even greener: bamboo grows rapidly, so opting for it instead of using wood is a way to avoid deforestation and reduce the environmental impact of this initiative. The company has available a land where to grow bamboo. The parts of the bicycle can be easily recycled and for every plant used to build bikes, ten new plants will be planted.
They have a lower environmental impact also because less electricity is used during their production process compared to traditional bikes: “a bamboo bicycle helps reduce carbon emissions by up to 70%” the company’s website reads. Bamboo bikes can also be customised with writings and logos on the frame.
The international success of bamboo bicycles
For their success, bamboo bikes are sold all over the world (and the Ghanese company will collaborate in an Italian project), and the social enterprise that invented them set an example for other African countries. “At the initial stages – Bernice Dapaah said – it was a bit difficult because the prototype wasn’t successful. But later we kept trying, in business there is always a risk. But with perseverance we can go far”.
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On top of a 2.4 million dollar compensation, the indigenous Ashaninka people will receive an official apology from the companies who deforested their lands in the 1980s.
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The 2019 edition of International Mountain Day is “Mountains matter for youth”, highlighting the need to bring young people back to highland areas to take care of their cultural and natural resources.
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