What are the roads like now on which Paravets Travel?

The only tarmac road is the main trunk road between Nairobi and Mombasa. Mtoti Andei, the principal town in the Kathekani region, is almost equidistant between the two, at a distance of 250km. Nearly all the main services are on or very near that road. Small markets exist elsewhere but products there are limited. As soon as you move off the main road, you are on tracks of indifferent quality. Even the tarmac road has potholes and cyclists are certainly not given any preferential treatment. They are expected to move off the tarmac onto the sandy and very uneven surface at the side whenever a motorised vehicle approaches. The paravet would spend the vast majority of his/her time on the tracks.

Although the people do have some incentive to maintain the roads, we would think of them as in poor condition. The Kathekani region is relatively flat, which means heavy rain doesn't affect the roads as much as it does in other areas. However, they are still deeply rutted, very uneven with huge holes in places. It certainly isn't a comfortable ride on a bicycle. In the predominantly dry months they are very dusty and clothes and belongings are covered in the red, sandy soil very quickly. During the rainy seasons (October-January and March-early May) they become muddy, with the inclines quickly becoming running streams. It's the rains that do the most damage to the tracks. However, wind also erodes the surface during the dry seasons. Some years there is very little or no rain. People pushing bikes uphill or in particularly bumpy parts is a common sight.

Another big problem is the bush. Motorised vehicles seem to have right of way, regardless of safety, so bicycles are pushed right into the side when any car or truck passes. The tracks are not cleared of twigs, branches etc. so can be littered with potential hazards both at the side and on the track surface itself.



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?