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Project Tsunami Report Proves the Power of Bicycles

First independent study of its kind measures the impact of bicycles in

disaster relief situations

CHICAGO, Sept. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- In the first study of its kind to measure the effectiveness of bicycle relief efforts in disaster situations, TANGO International has released its report on Project Tsunami, the World Bicycle Relief program that granted 24,300 bicycles to men, women and children in Sri Lanka following the tsunami of December 2004.

Among its findings, the report highlights the value of bicycles to the rebuilding efforts, and the ongoing importance they play in the lives of those affected by the natural disaster:

-- More than two years after the tsunami, 88 percent of recipients still

rely on the bicycle as part of their livelihood

-- Bicycles save between 10 and 20 percent of a household's annual income

over other transportation alternatives, and in the poorest households

as much as 30 percent -- income that contributes directly to livelihood


-- Bicycle distribution has effectively mobilized and empowered women,

with 82 percent of women recipients reporting that they use the bicycle

for income-generating activities

"Not only are bicycles integral to people's livelihoods, they provide crucial modes of transportation for health care and other services," according to the report. "The findings provide empirical evidence of the value of bicycles, providing beneficiaries a critical sense of autonomy and independence in the wake of the disaster."

The independent study was conducted by TANGO International in conjunction with the University of Sri Lanka, and measured the impact of World Bicycle Relief's post-tsunami relief program. Highlights from the study will be available next week, with the full report on Nov. 1.

With Project Tsunami complete, World Bicycle Relief is now engaged in providing 23,000 bicycles to volunteer, community-based HIV/AIDS caregivers, disease prevention educators and vulnerable households in the African nation of Zambia. This program includes the training of 400 Zambians in bicycle maintenance, and also includes independent measurement and evaluation.

SOURCE World Bicycle Relief
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