Electric motorbike gives women in rural Zimbabwe a path out of poverty

WEDZA, Zimbabwe (Reuters) – Within the rural Zimbabwe district of Wedza, a brand new electric-powered motorbike helps convey earnings to poor ladies and easing the burden of taking care of households.

The three-wheeler, referred to as Hamba (Go), powered by a solar-charged lithium ion battery, is being piloted by start-up Mobility for Africa, which leases the motorbike to ladies in teams of as much as 5.

The ladies can now carry farm produce to markets additional away from residence, provide transportation providers to villagers and use the motorbike for home chores.

Mary Mhuka, a 58-year-old mother-of-six who’s leasing the Hamba along with her daughter-in-law and a neighbour, mentioned the motorbike had eased the pressure of home work.

She may now promote her greens at a enterprise centre 15 km away for more cash than she would get domestically.

“We used to hold firewood on our heads for very lengthy distances … however now it’s a lot simpler as this motorbike has taken away that burden,” she advised Reuters after a visit to the neighborhood water borehole.

Fadzai Mavhuna, the Hamba pilot coordinator since February 2019, mentioned ladies paid an equal of $15 a month as a gaggle to lease the Hamba, which has a most vary of 100 km.

It prices between $0.50 and $1 to vary the motorbike batteries, that are charged at a solar-powered station.

Mobility for Africa is now within the second section of the pilot venture earlier than it may possibly go industrial. The Hamba is assembled in Harare with kits made in China and will probably be bought for $1,500.

“A few of the ladies have elevated their earnings as a result of they’ve launched into … tasks like baking, tailoring and horticulture,” mentioned Mavhuna.

Pamhidzai Mutunya, a farm well being employee, mentioned earlier than the arrival of Hamba, many ladies gave delivery at residence whereas others needed to stroll 12 km to the closest clinic as a result of there was no transport.

“We now have fewer instances of pregnant ladies giving delivery at residence,” the 35-year-old mother-of-three mentioned.

She ferries a mean of 4 individuals to the clinic a day and in addition collects medicines for sufferers.

Modifying by Tim Cocks and Mike Collett-White