A simple action such as riding a bike can help rural families with limited resources in Mozambique to irrigate their family plots. These mechanisms have been dubbed Bici-bombas (‘bike pumps’) by the NGO Azada Verde.
In Mozambique, as in other sub-Saharan African countries, it only rains three months a year, as long as there are no prolonged floods or droughts as a result of climate change. During these three months, they practice subsistence farming in which they produce corn, a food that should last 12 months of the year. Bike pumps are installed during the dry season, so that they can continue to practice agriculture during the eight months when it is not raining. Thanks to these low-cost irrigation systems, families can have a more varied diet, reduce their food insecurity, earn income and improve the quality of their daily lives. In the agricultural plots they plant vegetables, of which 30 per cent goes to his personal consumption and the remaining 70 per cent is sold in local markets.
The project was born in May 2018 with the installation of the first three Bici-bombas in the town of Toronga, Sofala province. To date, 25 Bike Bombs have been built and installed in 25 farming families (150 beneficiaries) in two different districts (Buzi and Chibabava) in Sofala Province.
They are built locally with 70 per cent recycled materials. The materials are bought in the city of Beira (capital of the province) and then sent to two workshops in rural communities, where technicians build and then install them. The project is financed through microcredits to the beneficiaries, who also receive technical support for both agricultural techniques and maintenance. AzadaVerde’s goal is to install 50 new bike-pumps each year.
Hugo Coll Dalmau, founder