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The plight of fruit vendors in Ghana has inspired two young international students to invent a solution addressing their many challenges.
Roy and Hannah Park, both high school students of the Lincoln Community School (LCS), yesterday introduced the “Carts with Hearts” project, aimed at providing goods transportation solutions for fruit and vegetable vendors in Ghana, through innovation.

Roy and Hannah have invented a transportation cart which will provide vendors ease in transporting their products. The cart is a two-wheeled mechanism made of wood, with two handles, and has the capacity to accommodate a heavy load without placing any burden on the handler.

With the cart, the sides are covered, preventing items from falling off. Vendors can set up conveniently with it at any point in time, in a stress-free way. The students were inspired to embark on the project after they conducted a survey on vendors in selected market places across the capital.

They observed that majority of them had several challenges with transporting their products to the market.  The two LCS students found out that majority of their respondents used old and abandoned truck tyres for their wheelbarrows, which made it difficult for them to transport their heavy loads causing several inconveniences.

Roy Park said: “The Vendors don’t have any boards around their wheelbarrows, so coconuts or other round items easily fall off, making the items hazardous to the health of consumers and the vendors themselves.” “We were also moved by the carrying capacity of these and flat platforms on these wheelbarrows, they make the work of these vendors cumbersome,” Roy added.

According to Hannah Park, younger sister of Roy, they were heart-stricken at the detrimental effect of wheelbarrows on vendors’ health. They felt the meagre incomes of the less privileged vendors will ultimately go into healthcare, depriving them from saving anything meaningful.

“It is very sad; vendors complain about body pains and other complications in their joints, forcing them to use their savings on healthcare,” Hannah added.  They have attributed the health complications to no brakes on the wheelbarrows, heavy loads on over-used tires, and the limited capacities of the wheelbarrows.

Fredrick, a coconut vendor in Accra who wants to save money and go back to school, narrated his troubles with the wheelbarrow. “My wheelbarrow has given me several injuries over the past few months, and I always have to start all over again,” Fredrick said.

“I want to go back to school and become an engineer, but I have to save a lot before I can do that,” he added. Roy and Hanna’s innovation comes in a timely manner for vendors like Fredrick, who was the first beneficiary of a cart from the project. Several vendors across Accra are expected to benefit from the project.

Source: Bernice Bessey || The Chronicle

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