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Natural body parts wheeled by recycled accomplices

The Nike grind materials can be used to manufacture chest guards, helmets, tires, and reflector jackets for the thriving 'boda boda' taxis.

Photo of festus mbuimwe
7 3

Written by

The motorcycle taxi business, aka 'boda boda', in Kenya and Uganda, is big because it enables passengers evade traffic jams endemic in Nairobi and Kampala. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, 9,438 motorcycle taxis were registered between January and October, 2017. In Kampala, Uganda, the Kampala Capital City Authority estimated that 120,000 boda bodas operated in the city in 2016. These motorcycles also access rough roads in both urban and rural areas in both countries, making them popular for transporting both goods and passengers. 

What if the Nike grand materials were used to manufacture windbreakers, elbow guards, knee guards, chest guards, helmets, tires, and reflector jackets?

Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • Rubber Outsoles
  • Rubber Flashings
  • Rubber Granulate
  • EVA Foam Injection Scraps
  • EVA Foam Flashings
  • EVA Foam Sheets & Blocks
  • EVA Foam Components
  • Laminated EVA Foam
  • Laminated PU Foam
  • Mixed Apparel Textile
  • Mixed Footwear Textile
  • Footwear Fiber "Fluff"
  • Full Grain Leather Scraps
  • Split Leather Scraps Coated
  • Synthetic Leather

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Boda boda riders are the primary target market. Secondary target market, for the tires that is, are the handcart operators operating in African cities such as Nairobi and Mombasa.

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

We can start with the chest guards, elbow guards, etc; then go down to the tires themselves. I expect obstacles such as "Are you kidding me, tires from recycled rubber?" But, as long as the price is cheaper, uptake should pick up.

How is your idea innovative?

None of these products are currently made form recycled materials.

What inspired this idea?

The large number of riders and passengers in both Kenya and Uganda. Many of them don't use chest guards, helmets, etc.

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

I'm just a human being trying to leave the planet way better than I found it.

In what city are you located?

Nairobi

In what country are you located?

Kenya

What is your legal / organizational structure? (if applicable)

Sole Proprietor

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

A top idea

7 comments

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Photo of Lauren Ito
Team

Hi festus mbuimwe ,

A reminder that the ideas phase of this Challenge closes in less than one hour, at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Please have your submission updated by this deadline with content to all proposal questions complete.

Excited to have you in the Challenge!

Photo of Leisa Hirtz
Team

Hi Mbuimwe,

Great to see your submission here. The statistics of road accidents and the need for improved road safety measures in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, etc especially for Boda Boda drivers and their passengers is a key priority. I'd love to make use more Boda Bodas as a means of transport when I'm in East Africa but do worry about the safety constantly. Yours is a valid and very good idea. Providing some statistics and feedback from Boda Boda drivers and passengers might further support your submission.

All the best to you and to improved road safety around the world.

Leisa

Photo of festus mbuimwe
Team

Hi, Leisa
Thanks for the accidents angle. True, most boda bodas are driven recklessly here in Kenya, contributing to road slaughter. If you must use one, please insist on a helmet and reflector jacket. Enjoy your day.

Photo of Leisa Hirtz
Team

Hi Festus,
Thank you for your response. This is off topic, but have you heard of SafeBoda in Uganda. It would be great to see the same service with safety training as well in Kenya. Maybe you could consult with them and perhaps partner some on the safety equipment initiative.

Best,
Leisa

Photo of Colin Lewis
Team

Festus Mbuimwe,

Here's a pretty good resource that may help you to conceive testing designs and prototypes:
http://uakron.edu/cpspe/agpa-k12outreach/lesson-plans/sports-helmets-and-impact-testing-of-polymers
If you want to make safety gear (Stage 1), then incorporate it into a garment while adding reflective details (Stage 2), then re-recycle your product into tires (Stage 3)-- be sure to state it chronologically. This will help the judges to see the feasibility of your project.

Keep up the good work!

Photo of festus mbuimwe
Team

Hello, Colin
Thanks for your suggestions and the link. They're invaluable. Enjoy your week.
Festus

Photo of Lauren Ito
Team

Hi festus mbuimwe ,

Great to see you in the Challenge! I’m excited to learn more about your idea to create boda boda gear. To understand more about how you might utilize the materials you've selected in your final product, could you please provide a few paragraphs to the question "How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?" Be as specific as possible about how the Nike Grind materials you've selected could be processed to create your final product. What would the steps be? It may be helpful to do some research on how motorcycle protective gear is processed and see how these materials may be used/substituted in that process as a starting point. 

Looking forward to learning more!