Kickstart Okana update II

Since the previous update a lot has happened in Okana. The pavilions are almost finished and most of the furniture is done. We had some struggles and we had to manage a lot, since the two ‘bosses’ are in the Netherlands and we have to check that everything is going according to plan. It appeared that it was necessary because there were some problems with the colour of the building and the height of the benches in the community space. Luckily we could solve it all and the pavilions never looked so good!

There were some problems in the carpentry workshop, because we ran out of screws. A few days later the woodsupply was also to an end. The delivery of new wood took a week, which meant the carpentry workshop stood still for that time, since there isn’t such a thing as a big woodshop here. When the wood arrived we could start building furniture again and try to finish everything before the deadline.

Besides that we had some visitors for two weeks, namely de designers of the BamGoo. They wanted to build a second prototype and they wanted to investigate the market. We started with a meeting to give them a heads up on our research and the conclusions we have drawn. During our meeting we came to the conclusion that the original design with 12 baskets costed too much money for the relative poor region here. After some brainstorming and designing we made a new design with significant lower building costs.

We want to produce multiple BamGoo’s in the future so it is important to know where the bamboo is coming from and therefore we planned a trip to the bamboo farm. It was a two hour drive through beautiful places with breath-taking views. The bamboo farm had multiple types of bamboo with different measurements. We bought two types of bamboo after talking to the owner to build our prototypes. Since we also needed a bicycle  we went to Kisumu to visit a few dealers. We bought a very common bicycle, because we wanted to have a bike that looks like the one our target group has.

During the building of the prototype we ran, off course, into some difficulties. We saw that the epoxy glue we bought didn’t harden enough. Even after adding some extra material the epoxy didn’t become strong enough, so we bought a different type of glue on advice of the general hardware store. Besides that we saw that the smaller bamboo parts could move in opposite direction of the main pole. We fixed that by putting a large bolt trough the both poles where after the both poles became a solid structure.  At last we tried a few types of knotting and we concluded that the Japanese knot gave us the best trade-off between strength and material use in combination with the new type of glue. The last problem was with mounting the BamGoo to the actual bike. But after adjusting the clamps to fit behind the brakes, this was sorted.

When we finished the second prototype we tested it thoroughly. The frame was very strong and it didn’t move an inch. There was some movements in the joints of the clamps, but we welded them together so that it was stir. After testing it was time to present the prototype to the board of the NGO. During our meeting we introduced ourselves and we spoke about the desires of both parties.  Everybody was really enthusiastic and positive after the presentation of the BamGoo. The board thought it was maybe an idea of improvement to make the front of the frame a bit shorter, because of the small and narrow streets in the city, so that is something to think about in our next prototype. One of the boardmembers is even so enthusiastic that he wants to buy a BamGoo!

If you want to see some pictures and see regular updates, go to our Facebook page Kickstart Okana!

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