Pedal power: Zambia's female farmers go further by bike – in pictures | Global development | The Guardian

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tOM Trottier

Jun 4, 2020, 11:46:07 AM6/4/20
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Pedal power: Zambia's female farmers go further by bike – in pictures | Global development | The Guardian


as of Thu Jun 04 2020 11:38:37 GMT-0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)

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Pedal power: Zambia's female farmers go further by bike – in pictures
Onyx Connect scheme enables women farmers to buy bikes in instalments
Global development is supported by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
A bicycle scheme is shaving hours off long journeys to get milk fresh to market, boosting women’s incomes and benefiting their whole community
Thu 4 Jun 2020 07.30 BST
Last modified on Thu 4 Jun 2020 13.28 BST
Lubinda (right) and Hilda Ndoka (left) with their cattle. Lubinda used to take her milk on foot to the nearest depot, 7km away in Zimba and it would take her an hour and 35 mins. By the time she got there the milk had often spoiled in the heat. ‘I was having to sell the soured milk at a really low price and I couldn’t manage to pay school fees for my children,’ she says. Going by bike has cut her journey to 40 minutes and the milk stays fresh, doubling her income so she can buy food and school equipment
Anick Lubinda (centre) sits at home with her daughter, Judith (left) and niece, Betha (right) in their home village of Mukwalantila near Zimba, Zambia. As well as the bike, the scheme package includes a smartphone to share and access information, a torch to ride safely at night and a solar lamp that Judith (above), can use to do her homework in the evenings.
Only 17% of Zambia’s rural population live within 2km of a good road, according to the World Bank. And that means the vast majority of farmers don’t have easy (or affordable) access to motorised transport
Mutinta Shakainda uses an online logging system to keep track of sales at the milk depot in Zimba. Dairy farmers can also check their sales remotely via SMS texts. The smartphones that come with the bike scheme enable dairy farmers to keep in touch with the community and to warn each other of diseases and any other problems
(Left to right) Belinda Syulikwa, Violet Dabali, Beatrice Siankwende and Judith Siankalou stand with their bikes in Luyaba, Zambia. The four farmers are members of the Kaziwa Women’s Group and also chair their own local groups. They all say the bikes have made a difference in their communities. For Judith (far right), the bike came to her rescue last year when severe drought meant she had to travel 65km by bike to buy food. ‘The bicycles came at just the right time. Without them we would have died’
Family members also borrow the bikes to get around. Chimunya Siambula (right) uses the bike belonging to her grandmother, Violet Dabali (left), to get to school in Luyaba. The school is 7km away and it used to take her 90 minutes on foot, but now she is there in 30 minutes by bike. Siambula, 21, left school for a while after having a baby, but she has returned and wants to be a police officer. ‘I want her [the baby] to be educated. Maybe one day she will be a policewoman too’
Women farmers gather in Luyaba, south of Kalomo. Beatrice Siankwende (centre), a local farmer, says having a bike has saved her a lot of money on transport. Previously, she would have paid 50 Kwacha (£2) each way to reach the main market town by truck. In rural areas the average household monthly income is around 810 Kwacha (£35)
Mutinta Kanene manages the bike shop in Kalomo, Zambia. Buffalo Bikes, which supplies the bicycles for the dairy farmers, employs about 135 women in its distribution and repair hubs. Kanene, 26, started at the bike shop as an intern. Working in these bike hubs is helping to boost the standing of women in their communities

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