World Bicycle Relief: PROJECT TSUNAMI

Aug 8, 2005
by Luc 'Acadian' Albert  
On December 26, 2004, a massive earthquake off the Northern coast of Sumatra created a Tsunami that swept across the Indian Ocean. It hit the surrounding countries with waves ranging from 8 to 20 meters.

In the affected coastal regions, villages were destroyed, and lives ended quickly and violently. Current estimates indicate over 200,000 dead, 100,000 missing, and over a million homeless. The survivors now face the long struggle of rebuilding their lives, families and communities.

World Bicycle Relief believes that bicycles can provide the basis for personal independence and mobility. By providing bicycles to those most impacted by the Tsunami, we are providing them with a key to rebuilding their lives, their livelihood and their communities.

Only time, energy and will-power will move the survivors beyond the Tsunami disaster. Providing bicycles will shorten the time in which they regain their livelihood. This effort benefits the survivors and demonstrates the Power of Bicycling

World Bicycle Relief is clearly targeted at phase three. According to our observations and the feedback from relief organizations in the field, bicycles will measurably assist in returning Adult refugees to independence and in re-establishing their livelihood. Bikes will also assist children, many of whom now have increased commutes, to stay in school.

FULL STORY

Introduction

On December 26, 2004, a massive earthquake off the Northern coast of Sumatra created a Tsunami that swept across the Indian Ocean. It hit the surrounding countries with waves ranging from 8 to 20 meters.


In the affected coastal regions, villages were destroyed and lives ended quickly and violently. Current estimates indicate over 200,000 dead, 100,000 missing, and over a million homeless. The survivors now face the long struggle of rebuilding their lives, families and communities.

Disaster relief of this scale is broken into 3 phases.
  • Phase 1: First two weeks. Rescue victims. Provide water, food, shelter, and first-aid. Bury the dead. Contain disease.
  • Phase 2: First 1-3 months. Rebuild infrastructure - transportation, electricity, sewage, and security. Contain disease.
  • Phase 3: First 2-18 months. Return refugees to independence and livelihood.
World Bicycle Relief is targeted at phase three. According to our observations and the feedback from relief organizations in the field, bicycles will measurably assist in returning adult refugees to independence and in re-establishing their livelihood. Bikes will also assist children, many of whom now have increased commutes, to stay in school.

Disaster Economics

For those who have lost everything, and now face the long, slow process of rebuilding their lives, viable transportation becomes as fundamentally necessary as food and shelter.


Communities are built around family, friends and ethnicity, but additionally around commerce and the supply of goods and services. The Tsunami wiped out communities and their infrastructures all along the coast. It destroyed homes, schools, hospitals, stores and government offices. Not only did this unravel the economic network developed over decades, but its also severely disrupted jobs and livelihoods.

Viable transportation is necessary for these communities to knit back together. Refugee camps have moved people to the outskirts of former communities. They are distant now from their intended homes, jobs, places of commerce and schools. Adults need mobility to rebuild their homes and to earn a wage. Students and teachers need mobility to get to the fewer, and thus on average farther away, temporary schools that are operating.

Before the Tsunami, transportation and commerce took place on foot, bicycles, scooters, Tuc Tuc Taxis (2-stroke, three wheeled vehicles), boats and public buses. Few people owned cars and even fewer owned trucks. Much of the transportation that existed was destroyed by the Tsunami.

Bicycles provide the transportation foundation necessary to knit communities and commerce back together. Bikes provide a cargo capacity of well over 50kg, and a working radius of up to 10 miles can be sustained. On foot, the individuals are limited to a more constrained working radius of several miles and substantially less ability to carry cargo, youngsters or everyday supplies.

In partnership with World Vision (www.worldvision.org) and local government , 24,400 men, women and children in greatest need were selected to receive bikes. The selection process included basic economic and commercial needs, distance to work, and distance to schools. Bikes will be a catalyst that will help this group rebuild their communities, find work and in the case of children, stay in school.

The Plan

For Project Tsunami, World Bicycle Relief is working with World Vision Sri-Lanka and Lumala Bicycle company. World Vision is a top rated non-government organization (NGO) operating around the globe on a number of important initiatives. They are one of the leading NGOs on the ground in Sri Lanka providing relief and recovery assistance to the survivors of the Tsunami. Lumala Bicycle Company is manufactures bicycles in Sri Lanka.


Here is what Wolrd Bicycle Relief in partnership with World Vision Sri-Lanka and Lumala Bicycle Company will deliver:
  1. Bikes:
    • We will provide 18,335 adult bikes for greater access to jobs, commerce, food and medicine, and independence.
    • We will provide 6,041 children's bikes for commutes to school, help with supporting the family, fun, play, and healing.

    • We will source bikes locally to ensure correct specification and that recipients are familiar with bikes. It also provides access to spare parts, eliminates supply chain, shipping costs, duties, logistics, and assists the local economy.
    • We will train and equip selected individuals in bicycle maintenance (currently at 40 individuals). This creates and professionalizes jobs, and ensures a sustainable bicycle community.
  2. Measurement of program results:
    • We will work with World Vision to monitor and measure progress of individuals, families and communities who have participated in the World Bicycle Relief program. The expectation is that each adult recipient will achieve independence and prosperity faster and more completely than non-recipients. The expectation is that each child recipient will be more likely to stay in school, and provide greater assistance to their family than non-recipient children. This will demonstrate to governments and relief organizations that mobility is as fundamental to base requirements as water, food, shelter, and medicine.

  3. Communicate the project dynamics and success:
    • We will actively communicate the project dynamics and success to international relief organizations and governments. Our goal is first and foremost to help those individuals hit by the Tsunami to regain their livelihoods, but second to demonstrate that basic transportation is a vital part of the recovery process, and that bikes are well suited for this role.
Financial Requirements

We need to raise $1.7mm to complete this program. Your contribution and participation in this program is as important as the amount donated. We are all working toward the same goal of providing relief and demonstrating how bicycles can play a vital role in recovery.

The bikes cost:

  • $71.00 Adult male bike
  • $68.00 Adult female bike
  • $63.00 Child's bike

  • $130.00 Disabled Tricycle

If you would like some donation guide lines, here are our recommendations:


Sponsoring Donations:

To be a Lead Sponsor, please donate a minimum of $100,000

To be a Co-Sponsor:

  1. Business: Please donate a minimum of $10,000.

  2. Individual: Please donate a minimum of 50 adult bikes or $3,550.

Individuals
  • Please consider donating 5 adult bikes or $355. 5 bikes creates a shared community of bicycles that can be leveraged across a multiple of people.
  • If 5 bikes isn't possible, please consider donating 1 adult bike or $71. 1 bike gets a survivor mobile and productive within their community.
  • If 1 bike isn't possible, please donate $20. $20 is an important amount and there are lots of you out there.
  • Please give whatever you can. This is a great cause and it needs your help.
  • Bike Industry

  • For Bike Companies: Please donate the lower of 0.1% of sales or $10,000.
  • For Bike Dealers: please donate 10 adult bikes or $710.
  • Please give whatever you can. This is a great cause and needs your help.
  • Conclusion

    Success for this program will be three-fold. The first is raising the funds and getting the bikes to those identified by World Vision. The second is measuring the speed of recovery for those with bikes versus those without. The third is sharing the results with international organizations to demonstrate bikes as a key element of economic and disaster recovery.


    Only time, energy and willpower will move us beyond the Tsunami disaster. Providing bicycles will shorten the time in which the survivors regain their livelihood. With bicycles, we will address the roots of disaster relief with a power in which we deeply believe - the power of bicycling.

    THE BIKES
    Mens Bike

    Men's Bike:

    • 28" wheel
    • Single speed
    • Direct Link Pull rim brakes
    • 50kg heavy duty rack and stand.
    • Light, Lock, Bell, Pump
    • Color: Black
    Womens Bike

    Women's bike:

    • 26" wheel
    • Low step over bar
    • Single speed
    • Direct link pull rim brakes
    • Light, Lock, Bell
    • Color: Black
    Kids Bike

    Kids bikes:

    • 24" wheel
    • Single speed
    • Direct link pull rim brakes
    • Light, Lock, Bell
    • Color: Black

    CONTRIBUTORS
    LEAD SPONSORS
    SRAM
    Trek

    CO-SPONSORS
    Specialized
    Cycle Europe
    VivaTerra
    Quality Bicycle Products
    Bob Perkowitz and Lisa Renstrom
    F.K. Day

    SUPPORTING SPONSORS
    GS Design

    Lead Sponsors - Donations of $100,000 or more
    Co-Sponsors - Donations of $10,000 or more
    Supporting Sponsors - Donations of any level



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