Buffalo Bicycles in Kenya

Why to choose this solution?
Providing bicycles to the students through Plan International helps improve pupils’ academic performances, since time saved in travel to and from school will be taken to study after arriving early and the ability to depart later if needed. The bicycles are a clean and environmentally sustainable means of transportation which gives their users ease and independence of mobility. They have been seen to increase student retention rates, especially among those who otherwise would drop out of school due to teen pregnancies.
Savings per day or production:
Saves travel time spent by students who otherwise must walk long distances to and from school. Providing a quality, durable bicycle to improve access to education is both simple and a more cost-effective way to improve children’s education than constructing more schools or implementing dedicated bus or taxi services.
Cost in money and in own time to construct:
The bicycles were donated by Plan International Kenya in partnership with World Bicycle Relief through the organization of the Bicycle Education Empowerment Program (BEEP).
About 15 years with proper maintenance.
Maintenance needed:
Community members have been trained as bicycle mechanics to repair and maintain bicycles. Parents whose children have benefitted from the program, have the responsibility to ensure the bicycles are maintained and well used for the intended purposes. Some maintenance is needed, including regularly washing the bicycle as well as regularly checking the brakes and the tire pressure. Users also must ensure that nuts and bolts are and remain tight. Worn and damaged components must be replaced promptly.
Resources needed in use:
The students need to learn how to ride bicycles.
Problems and limits:
Cycling is affected by bad weather, especially during rainy days, rendering some parts of the road impassable. High “wet bulb temperatures ‘’ (heat/humidity combinations) may also threaten a student’s health.
Where and how can you get it or make it?
Available at Plan International Kisumu.
Skills needed to produce, install. maintenance, use:
Production requires skilled personnel. Use of the bicycle requires a physical ability to ride it.
How to use it:
Not relevant.
How to maintain it:
Not relevant.
Climate effect (if any):
Bicycles are environmentally friendly since they do not emit any carbon to the atmosphere like other means of transport (diesel fleet emissions). Apart from walking, use of bicycles is the only way to cut carbon emissions in urban transportation.
Where it is used and how many users are there?
About 1,546 students in the 17 selected schools within Kisumu County benefitted from the program.
Why is it successful?
BEEP providesdurable, reliable bicycles, significantly reducing the students’ travel time to school. The bicycles are a cost effective way to improve educational outcomes for adolescent girls, and an appropriate technology to address long distances facing rural students.
If you can make it, a short description, typical problems, materials needed.:
Production requires skilled personnel. Use of the bicycle requires a physical ability to ride it.
How to make it (if possible):
Not relevant
How is it delivered and by whom?
The bicycles were delivered by Plan International as a donation targeting 70% of the girls and 30 % of the boys within the selected schools. Creation of a diverse committee ensured deep community involvement. Incentives were provided for bicycle maintenance and care as well as for school attendance through study-to-own contracts signed by students and parents. Training provided to bicycle mechanics ensured that the bicycles remained in good working order, are some of the successful business models.
Successful financial model
Successful partnerships with the World Bicycle Relief (WBR).
What policies and strategies helped the success?
The local community was incorporated into the management of the programme (Bicycle for Education Empowerment Programme) through Bicycle Supervisory Committees, which act as the focal points for implementation of the programme. The committee helps to identify children who would benefit most from a bicycle, monitors the usage of the bicycles, and oversees the work of the field mechanics.
More info:
Plan International Kenya. Methodist Ministries Centre, Block C, 2nd floor Nairobi. P. O. Box 25196-00603 Kenya. T: +254 709 859000 / +254 20 2761000. Kenya.Co@plan-international.org
Name of the association uploading the case:
Suswatch Kenya
When was the case uploaded? (YYYY-MM-DD):