Chukudu, Environmentally Friendly Vehicle Made from Wood

Chukudu, Environmentally Friendly Vehicles from Africa

Chukudu is a simple vehicle that is often found in Congo. Commonly found in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

This vehicle is made of wood without a machine, which is used to make things. This vehicle is capable of carrying loads of up to hundreds of kilograms.

Chukudu is a vehicle that has an important role in Goma’s economy. Someone who owns this vehicle will earn money.

The structure of this vehicle is very strong. Therefore, it is often used by people to transport goods.

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Have a Simple Design and Cheap

The Chukudu body is made of eucalyptus wood. While the wheels are made of mumba wood and wrapped in rubber from used tires.

To make Chukudu it takes one to three days.

This vehicle has two wheels. On the right part of the rider’s seat, there is a pad on the board.

Wheeled vehicles are made with various designs according to their needs and uses. Some make a hole in the middle of the body to carry firewood or use a large basket to carry various items.

The rider keeps one knee in this pad while pushing off with the other leg. Even though this vehicle looks strange, it goes very fast, even with a heavy load.

Chukudu moved with momentum. If the Chukudu is empty and on flat ground, the rider places one knee on the board and pushes off the ground with the other foot propelling the vehicle, much like a skateboard.

The driver stands on the board with one foot attached to the rear tire to act as a brake, as there are no brakes on this vehicle if a Chukudu rider is going down a slope. Sometimes drivers use their feet as brakes.

These vehicles are used by people who do not have the money to buy motorized vehicles. This vehicle is an alternative transportation that is cheap and easy.

This is because to make this vehicle, the people of Congo spend $100. This cost is much cheaper than buying a motorized vehicle.

Congo is the country with the highest and poorest population in Africa. Therefore, the people of the Congo created cheaper vehicles for transportation.

Multipurpose Vehicle

Chukudu is a means of transportation used by the people of the Congo. Even though it looks like a toy bicycle, this vehicle is often used.

Generally, these vehicles are used to carry all types of cargo, such as firewood, charcoal, cement, agricultural products, and others. The load being transported will be balanced on the Chukudu board.

These vehicles are usually about six and a half feet long, and can carry a load of about 1,000 lbs. While the larger size can carry a load of around 1,700 lbs.

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Chukudu Becomes an Everyday Vehicle in Congo

Many Congolese communities depend on the Chukudu to transport cargo because it is cheaper than motorized vehicles.

The people of Congo say that they will have money if they have this vehicle. Because many people need services to transport goods.

Although, these vehicles help people a lot financially. However, these vehicles also frequently cause traffic accidents in Goma.

There are still many people who use this vehicle to make it recognized around the world. The United Nations even organized a Chukudu competition in 2006.

In 2009, Congo’s President, Joseph Kabila, placed a Chukudu statue in downtown Goma. This statue is in the form of a man riding a Chukudu with luggage.

This statue is a symbol of the hardworking people of Goma.