The Origins of the Roads in the Kathekani Area

The area where the Kamba people settled in the 1970s and 1980s was originally just bush land. There were some roads as it lies close to the Tsavo East Game Reserve but there were not even any tracks where they first settled so they had to begin a transport infrastructure from scratch. Many of the early settlers lost all the animals they owned very quickly because they were not used to the diseases of the new area and had not developed immunity to them. Drought was also a severe problem. In recent years there have been times when it has not rained for two years consecutively. Some of the settlers went back to their original homes in Machakos, about 180 km north, because they were quickly disillusioned by the harshness of the area.

As they lost so much of value, they were extremely poor initially. So, there had to be a good reason for opening up a new road or track. It had to lead somewhere specific e.g. a school, church, market. Opening up a road simply meant cutting back the bush. There was no financial support from any government agencies. The people formed themselves into groups, they held community days and some were dedicated to road clearing. A "road" is therefore often a cleared track.

Once the roads were established, some in the area were eventually classified, so they are now theoretically maintained. In practice, local people still fill in the worst of the ruts and holes with soil and hard core on designated days. They may be paid in kind e.g. with food.




Before you begin

Web references

Specific design context
1. Product Design - A portable carrier

2. Product Design - An improved bicycle taxi seat

3. Product Design - Firewood Carrier

1. A portable carrier for vets

The area where paravets work

The origins of the roads
What are the roads like?
What are the bikes like?
How do they carry their equipment now?
What's wrong with current methods?
What distance do they travel daily?
What's their ideal carrier?
What diseases do they Treat?
What equipment do they carry?
What carrier making skills and materials are available?

  2. An improved bicycle taxi seat

The area where the taxis operate

The bicycle taxi business in Kisumu
What's a bicycle taxi like?
What are the current problems?
What would be an ideal bicycle taxi?
Have they tried other ideas
What materials and skills are available locally?
A bicycle taxi for a paravet?