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Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

Chukudus Goma Reviews

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Chukudus - the Wooden Bicycle Feb 22, 2017
Seriously – do not laugh. You are looking at a seriously well engineered, practical, low cost and environmentally friendly method of goods transport. The Chukudu is a solid wood scooter that has forked steering bars, a wide wooden platform sloping from the steering handles down and to the rear. Finally its wooden wheels have some rubber tyre tread attached to them for traction through rough roads and mud.

The Chukudu originated in the Goma/Lake Kivu area. They were invented as a cheap method to transport goods and sometimes people. They do lack peddles and gears, but they do allow a man to transport hundreds of kilograms of goods to market places and return with valuable provisions like water back to the village. And if there is a hill, well then they can ride as fast as their Chukudu will take them. With 200-300 kilograms onboard I can assure you it can be very fast. Because they are made of solid wood they can carry these heavy loads and essentially last forever.

There are even Chukudus (and driver) available for hire. I actually have pictures of 3 Chukudus waiting at a crossroads waiting to pick up work – literally. On a good day the drivers can earn as much as $10 which is very good pay indeed.

I have seen them transport huge amounts of bananas, water, flour/maize, firewood, clothes and firewood. It really makes no difference as the solid wood frames can take the strain and some rope will hold anything onboard. They are also able to navigate the rough lava filled ‘streets’ of Goma. Now that’s tough.
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