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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

UN stages cycling in Kenya to raise awareness about air pollution

NAIROBI, (Xinhua) -- UN Environment on Sunday launched a bicycle ride in Kenyan capital Nairobi to raise awareness of the role of sustainable urban transportation in reducing air pollution.

The UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim said the cycling that was attended by hundreds of international and local riders signifies a revolutionary move toward road development within the African and other world cities.

“The adoption of bike rides in the city will make the city friendly to the people as well as help reduce air pollution,” Solheim said in Nairobi during the launch of cycling that was also attended by the Ambassador of China, Liu Xianfa and other envoys.

He noted the launch is important given many people live in urban areas where air quality is below the World Health Organization (WHO) standards.

Solheim applauded Rwanda government for keeping the capital city Kigali clean hence becoming Africa’s leading example. 

He called for government support toward the development of policies and laws that support clean environment.

“It is time to redesign our roads and embrace pathways where city dwellers could easily walk and ride their bikes as this helps reduce air pollution and also keep them physically fit,” the UN Environment head added.

He suggested that countries set aside a bike riding days in the calendar to help reduce the seven million deaths that are caused by air pollution.

 

leisure bike organized by Mobike | Coastweek

 
 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) — Liu Xinfa ®, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya and Hu Weiwei, Co-founder and President of Mobike take part in a leisure bike organized by Mobike, a head of UN Environment Assembly, in Nairobi, Dec. 3, 2017. The race whose theme was “Beat pollution” is a leisurely bike ride to show how the world is ready for more sustainable transportation methods and share-the-road initiatives.

Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko revealed that plans are at advanced stage to launch major air, pollution and afforestation program that will help change the environmental status of the city.

“We welcome the partnership as it ushers in a rare opportunity to help reduce air pollution and environmentally related diseases,” Sonko said.

According to the WHO, 6.5 million people die annually as a result of poor air quality while only 12 percent of cities have air quality measures that meet WHO standards.

Alongside the WHO and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, UN Environment is part of the global campaign which aims to mobilize cities and individuals to protect our health and planet from the effects of air pollution. 

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Environment-Friendly Bicycle To Hit Local Market  

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- A Chinese made bicycle which is convenient for short urban trips while reducing congestion and the city’s urban carbon footprint is set to be launched in Africa.

Developed by Mobike Technology Limited, a bicycle sharing service through the use of smartphone apps reduces congestion, and continually strives to improve the quality of city life.

Florian Bohnert, head of Global Partnerships at the Mobike Technology Limited, said in Nairobi on Monday that the company will launch in Nairobi next year and thereafter launch in other African countries.

“We intend to introduce the bicycle in the continent once we sign an agreement with Nairobi city authorities to help solve the problem in the city,” Bohnert told Xinhua in an interview on the sidelines of the UN Environment Assembly underway in Nairobi.

He said the bikes are environmentally good for the health and environment because they reduce pollution and congestion in the cities.

“The bicycles saves space since one car is equivalent to 10 bicycles and they are convenient and faster,” he noted.

Bohnert revealed that his firm provides the bicycles and the technology that incorporates simcards and Global Positioning System (GPS), a space-based navigation system that provides the location where the bike is and the time it is seen there.

The GPS and the sim card connect the bike to the platform and also unlock it before the user takes a ride.

He added that the bikes are durable, tubeless and lasts four years without maintenance, as well as help reduce air pollution.

At the end of their ride, users will be able to return the bike to a designated Mobike preferred location or any regular bike parking area.

“The cities need to invest money in additional cycle lanes on their roads, acquire that data and be advised on where to launch,” he added.

The bike can help the African cities make income as the user’s simple download the app and use the bikes at their convenience.

“We work closely with local authorities in 200 cities in 12 countries where we have 8 million bicycles that have help solved transport problems in the countries,” Bohnert added.

The bicycles are already being used in the cities of China, the United States, Germany, Italy, Singapore and so on.

Bohnert said the fee is accommodative because the company wants many people to adopt the new environmental friendly transportation system.

UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim and Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa on Sunday launched a bicycle ride in Nairobi city that was attended by hundreds of international and local riders to raise awareness of the role of sustainable urban transportation in reducing air pollution.

Solheim said it was time to redesign the roads and embrace pathways where city dwellers could easily walk and ride their bikes as this helps reduce air pollution and also keep them physically fit.

The Beijing based company is currently exhibiting their bicycles at the ongoing United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA).

Delegates attending the third UNEA conference have been enjoying a leisurely bike ride to show how the world is ready for more sustainable transportation methods and share-the-road initiative.

             

 

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