Cyclist completes 815km ride from Bolgatanga to Accra

As the world continues to face issues of carbon emissions, exacerbating the impact of climate change, a cyclist has ridden 815 kilometres from Bolgatanga, the Upper East Regional capital to Accra, Ghana’s national capital, as part of efforts to advocate for the adoption of green transport systems.

James Kumbeni, the 28-year-old Information Technology specialist, who began his journey on Tuesday, April 9, and reached his final destination in Accra on Friday, April 12, 2024, wants to encourage the world to adopt bicycles as climate-smart and green alternative means of transport, to reduce air pollution on the environment emanating from fuel-powered vehicles.

The initiative was also part of a campaign to advocate for the rights and safety of cyclists on the road and influence policy direction to create specific lanes for cyclists during road construction.

After completing his journey, Mr Kumbeni told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that carbon emissions from vehicles continued to pollute the air making it unclean for human health as well as increasing the challenges of climate change.

He said the threat of climate change on all sectors of economies worldwide, particularly Ghana was more pronounced and the transport sector which played a critical role in the growth and development of the economy contributed significantly to its effect through air pollution.

He said it was about time people made a paradigm shift from carbon emission-generated vehicles to greener transport systems such as bicycles for journeys, especially intra-community and regional movements to reduce environmental pollution and promote cleaner air.

“We all need clean air to breathe and green transport is the way to go,” he said, adding “if we encourage more people to ride bicycles, we are going to cut down the carbon emission on our environment and I wanted to demonstrate that it was possible by riding from Bolgatanga to Accra.

“If we don’t transition to green alternatives, in no time, we will be in danger and so apart from using bicycles, there are other alternatives, and the government needs to begin to transition to a green economy.

“So, I plan to visit the Environmental Protection Agency and I am looking forward to meeting companies and organizations that are into green transportation so we can look at how to promote green transport.”

On the safety of cyclists, Mr Kumbeni who is a teacher by profession noted that the safety of cyclists on the road had not been prioritised, adding that apart from the need for drivers of vehicles to respect and share the road with bicycle riders, there was the need for dedicated lanes for cyclists during road construction.

“Once a cyclist is on their lane, he or she knows that they are safe,” he added.
Mr Kumbeni noted that apart from the health benefits associated with riding a bicycle, as riding was a form of physical exercise, it also helps to reduce the cost of buying fuel.

Apart from that, Mr Kumbeni, also embarked on the journey to support Mr Joel Atinga who is currently attempting to break a Guinness World Record for the longest grilling of ‘khebab’ in Accra.

He expressed gratitude to all Ghanaians for their support throughout the journey.

Mr Kumbeni is a native of Baare, a farming community in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region who teaches at Desert Pastures International School in Bolgatanga.

He is a member of the Keekee Cycling Konnect in Bolgatanga, Ghana Cyclists Association, and currently a Master of Philosophy candidate in Computer Science at the C.K Tedam University of Technology and Applied Sciences.

Source:  GNA 

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