By Robert Tachie Menson, GNA
Amasu (B/A), Aug. 2, GNA - The Ghana Bamboo Bicycle Initiative(GBBI) has presented 34 bamboo bicycles to needy Junior High School (JHS) students, farmers and health workers in Amasu and surrounding villages in the Dormaa Central Municipality of the Brong Ahafo Region.
The presentation of the bicycles is to help the beneficiaries to reduce the long distance they covered while commuting to their various schools, farmlands and health posts in very remote and deprived communities.
Other items which accompanied the donation include 35 helmets and five boxes of “Tom shoes”.
The street value per bicycle is GH¢800.00 or 200US Dollars and was targeted mainly at the European and American markets.
At a mini durbar to officially present the items, Ms Bernice Dapaah, the Founder and CEO of Ghana Bamboo Bicycle Initiative(GBBI), said part of GBBI commitment was to generate and create employment for the youth by engaging them in the production of bamboo bicycles.
She said following global debate and concerns raised about climate change and the need to ensure the conservation of the environment, the company not only restricted itself to bike productions but also focused on large scale cultivation of bamboos.
Ms Dapaah said that research has revealed that the long distance which the beneficiaries, especially students, endured while going to school had an adverse effect on their academic performance which needed the intervention by stakeholders.
She urged the beneficiary students to study hard as they would follow up to monitor their academic performance in efforts to ensure their gesture had yielded positive result.
Ms Dapaah said the students were selected strictly on merit and not by family or partisan consideration adding "the bicycles will become the beneficiaries personal property".
Barimah Dei Kusi Gyabaah II, Ankobeahene of Dormaa Traditional Area, was full of praise for the CEO for her kind gesture and asked natives of Amasu to emulate her shining example.
He appealed to the Dormaa Municipal Chief Executive to include bamboo plantation in the development agenda of the Municipality to create the needed employment for the people.
He pledged his support for the one district, one factory agenda stressing there were large parcels of lands available for that purpose and asked GBBI to extend more assistance to the area and Dormaa.
Speaking on behalf of Mr Iddrissa Quattara, the Dormaa Central Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Maxwell Mahama, Assistant Director of Dormaa Municipal Assembly, noted that the use of bicycles as a means of transportation particularly in Ghana and Africa was very popular and common due to its affordability.
He said bamboo bikes usage have become more pronounced due to the fact that fuel had become a major factor in climate change.
He expressed appreciation to GBBI, Bright Foundation and African Bicycle Contribution Foundation (ABCF) for their close collaboration and for identifying and filling an important development gap in the area.
Mr Thomas Armstrong, an official of the Municipal Directorate of Education who spoke on behalf of Mr Isaac Nsiah Edwards, the Municipal Director of Education, appealed to parents and children to work hard to ensure the quality education of their wards.
He appealed to the stakeholders to unite and ensure the provision of the educational needs of their children.
Mr Solomon Owusu Amankwaah, the Development Officer, GBBI, said the partnership between GBBI and African Bicycle Contribution Foundation (ABCF) which started last year would include financing the distribution of 3000 bicycles within a five year period.
This would be given to needy school children, farmers and health workers in remote localities who travelled long distance to school, farmlands and health posts within a five year period, he stated.
"Others also involve the provision of educational opportunities to Ghanaian students to study in the US", he added.
Mr Amankwaah said Amasu is the fifth community in line to have benefited since the programme was initiated.
He said customised bicycles were also produced on demand.