We have been in Kisumu now for one week. We spoke to the major parties that are involved in our project like the Victoria Boda Boda Sacco, Millennium Cities Initiative, Urban Matters, Kenya Investment Authority, Uvumbuzi, Boda boda drivers and metal workshops. We got a feeling of this city and the challenges it is facing. The major relevant challenges are the high poverty level, the lack of formal industries and the infrastructure that is not suitable for bicycles and causes dangerous situations.
Our project is aiming to develop a bicycle oriented product that stimulates entrepreneurship (and therefore empowers people who are living in the informal settlements). After our orientation we identified three potential groups that could benefit of our product; a bike specialized in the transport of freight, an addition to the Boda Boda to transport freight as well as people and the mobile street vendors.
A lot of products are transported by handcarts or are carried around, for instance by women on their heads. The speed, and in case of the head transport also the weight, is very limited. A bicycle would enable them to increase this. We think of some kind of ‘bakfiets’.
Boda Boda additions
There are 16.000 Boda Boda’s (bicycle taxis) in Kisumu. They buy a Indian bicycle and modify this for passenger transport (strengthen the frame and rim, place the driver seat more to the front and put a decorated passenger seat).
Besides the transport of persons, they tie up a lot of things on their back seat with an inner tire. This damages their passenger cushion and is instable. We could provide them a addition to make their bicycle suitable of cargo transport as well.
In Kisumu there are hardly any shops. Like a development country all the business is done on the street. But we noticed that most of the vendor are static, they sit in front of their house with their products. We think that if these people will become mobile they could increase their sales. Another limitations of the amount they are selling right now is the weight they can carry. A bike would enable them to increase this amount.