Hamba Electric Motorcycle Brings Income to Poor Women in Zimbabwe
The three-wheeler, known as Hamba (Go), is a new electric-powered motorcycle that is supporting the livelihood of poor women of Wedza district of rural Zimbabwe.
Directed by start-up Mobility for Africa, Hamba (Go) is powered by a solar-charged lithium-ion battery. The purpose behind this revolutionary invention is to strengthen the economic status of poor women by leasing the motorbike to women in groups of up to five.
The electric-powered motorcycle enables the women to carry farm produce to markets far away from home, provide transportation services to the fellow villagers and use it for household chores.
Mary Mhuka said that the motorcycle had lessened the stress of domestic work. The 58-year-old mother-of-six has rented the Hamba with her daughter-in-law and a neighbor.
She can now sell her vegetables at a business center 15 kilometers away and earn more money than she would get in the local market.
We used to carry firewood on our heads for very long distances … but now it’s much easier as this motorcycle has taken away that burden.
Said Mary Mhuka.
The Hamba pilot coordinator since February 2019, Fadzai Hamba revealed that women paid nearly $15 a month as a group to rent the motorcycle, which has a maximum range of 100 kilometers.
The cost to change the motorcycle batteries ranges from $0.50 to $1. The batteries are charged at a solar-powered station.
Currently, Mobility for Africa is in its second phase of the initial project before going commercial. The Hamba is compiled in Harare with kits made in China and will be sold for $1,500.
Some of the women have increased their income because they have embarked on … projects like baking, tailoring and horticulture.
Said Pamhidzai Mutunya, a farm health worker.
Mutunya said that before the arrival of Hamba, due to the lack of any decent transportation system in the region, many women gave birth at home while others had to walk 12 km to the nearest clinic. Now, fewer women give birth at home.
She carries an average of four people to the clinic a day and also picks up medicines for patients.
The arrival of this electric-powered motorcycle in Zimbabwe has eased the life of poor women significantly while making them financially strong as well.