Solar-powered bikes help in conservation

A project has been launched to make it more effective to patrol conservancies where poaching is increasing.

24 September 2018 | Business

Yolanda Nel





In an effort to help conservation and anti-poaching units in the country, Windhoek-based SunCycles aims to make E-bikes available to game guards.

“Game guards need to be on constant patrol and have to cover large areas, mainly by foot, to move as silently and efficiently through the wild environment as possible,” said Marita Walter of SunCycles in an interview with the German television channel, Deutsche Welle.

SunCycles’ E-bikes provide a sustainable, fast, silent and cost-effective solution that helps ease the physical burden of patrolling by foot and significantly increases the area that can be covered. She said that the addition of solar recharging provides guards with emission-free mobility even in the remotest area.

Solutions

One of the biggest challenges the country faces is illegal poaching.

According to one guard, Edward Mwaulika, they cover 30km a day on sandy tracks. With his new bicycle, which is electric and solar powered, he covered 5 200km in ten months.

The Salambala conservancy, that already received eight such bikes, is the first to make use of it as an effective and efficient form of mobility. The guards say they can cover larger areas and move silently through the rugged environment to detect suspicious activities.

Other benefits are that a solar recharge station supports the E-Bikes with electricity, also in off-grid areas, at no extra costs and zero environmental pollution.

The SunCycles team now aims to make E-bikes available for the Nyae Nyae conservancy, supplying them with a tested, adequate, effective and efficient form of mobility.

According to SunCycles, this project leads the way to a sustainable form of mobility and showcases the suitability of E-bikes for wildlife protection. This project is another milestone on the route to making electric mobility available to a broader community, replacing expensive and polluting cars.

To support the project, donations can be made via Global Giving, an online funding program.

Alternatively and for more information, SunCycles can be contacted on [email protected] or 081 576 6721.

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