Neighbourhood watch volunteers receiving bicycles
The solar ambulance project has been given a boost with a new partnership. The neighbourhood watch movement has grown enormously in the past five years, with thousands of volunteers providing support in their communities. These volunteers patrol areas that are prone to crime, and are particularly focussed on safety for women and children. Due to their presence and status in the community, these volunteers are often called on for other kinds of support, including during medical emergencies.
Our partnership with the neighbourhood watch movement, which is coordinated by the Namibian Police, began last month with a donation of 29 bicycles to help community patrols extend their range. We have also put the first two electric bicycle ambulances under the care of the neighbourhood watch movement, and are looking forward to seeing the results.
The partnership addresses one of our main challenges with our previous work with (non-motorised) bicycle ambulances, which is community management. We relied on small community groups to manage the ambulances, and this was problematic in terms of resources to provide maintenance, addressing management issues, and monitoring and reporting on use.
We're hopeful that through the Neighbourhood Watch movement, and the enthusiasm we've seen from the Namibian Police, the bicycle ambulances will now reach further into Namibian communities, and be better managed even in the most far-flung locations.
An ambulance comes in for a service in OutapiAttachments: