December 2008

To get an idea on the progress of the wheelchair project, we (Hennie, Hans, Pieter Bas) as members of our project team visited Kenya at the beginning of December 2008. Departure was on Saturday December 6th, arrival at Mombasa airport around midnight. After a good night’s rest, we met the board members of the project on Sunday December 7th in the afternoon. The next morning (on Monday) they picked us up at the hotel and drove us to the wheelchair workshop in Mombolulu, a district within Mombasa.


When we arrived in Mombolulu, they provided us a warm welcome. On the complex itself there are also a number of manual skill workshops located, where they produce clothes, (hand)bags, little sculptures, domestic utensils etc.  In a special shop all those products are being sold. The money they make on this, is used for the cost of living for the disabled working on the complex.  The set up of the wheelchair workshop we saw in Mombolulu is rather simple. What has been produced is good, but the level of production is rather low.


Better means of production and planning could mean an important improvement. 
During our visit we talked about the necessity of improving the quality of the wheelchair. A good step ahead would be a longer lasting layer of lacquer on the frames of the wheelchair. 

Now they use a spray can to put the lacquer on the metal frames of the wheelchairs. As a result the spraying is time consuming, a lot of lacquer is lost because of the spraying and the layer of lacquer


A possibility to obtain this improvement, is to burn the layer of lacquer into the frame. The lacquer becomes one with the frame and lasts much longer. However the burning of the lacquer into the frame can only be done with a special powder coating machine. The coming months we will investigate how to realize this necessary investment for the wheelchair workshop in Mombolulu, Kenya.  

We keep you informed,  

Hennie van Gilst and Pieter Bas Opheij