In Japan, countless numbers of bicycles are abandoned outside stations and on roadsides each year.
While many will be turned into scrap metal and recycled, a percentage that are still deemed functional after a few repairs are being put to effective use as a mode of transport for nurses and midwives in developing countries like Ghana.
In this line of work, reducing the time spent in transit could literally mean the difference between life and death. Taking a look around the Sogakope district of eastern Ghana, it is not uncommon to see citizens riding the same bicycles – complete with baskets attached to their fronts – as used by millions of Japanese, school kids and university students. Although the bicycles used in Sogakope are essentially the same as those that can be found in Japan, one striking difference lies in the surroundings in which they are ridden; unlike the developed world, there are no paved roads, only uneven muddy tracks.
I – Word Understanding
Deemed functional – considered as working properly or still useful
Paved roads – concrete roads
II – Have your say
1.Bicycles are widely used in Japan as an alternative to cars. Stolen bikes are placed in a computer base and can easily be accessed by the police.
2.Bicycle use is so popular in the Dutch capital of Amsterdam, that abandoned bikes in the city centre became a problem.
3.Ghana, is a country in West Africa. There are about 15 physicians and 93 nurses per 100,000 persons. Attempts to improve the healthcare system in Ghana are believed to have been hampered by a high rate of corruption.