An Engineering Professor at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), has hinted of plans to develop a trolley aimed at assisting head porters popularly known as ‘kayayei’ transport goods.
Professor Mark Adom-Asamoah said his outfit is in talks with government to make the vehicle, when produced, available to all head-porters in the country.
In a Citi News interview, he said the move was initiated after talks with the Ministry for Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Prof. Adom-Asamoah said the current way of carrying heavy loads on the head had serious health implications on the head porters, and sometimes their children whom they often carry behind them while transporting goods.
“We had contact with the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Djaba, and during the discussion we realized that we need to let them have a look at the Kayayei and look at the possibility of checking things that could affect their health in terms of the work that they do. We realized that the normal push trucks that are available are too large and bulky and only suited for their male counterparts so what we did was to come up with a trolley, and the trolley will be both the push and pull trolley,” he said.
He said the project was still at its design stage and will soon be piloted. He added that the introduction of the trolley will reduce the incidence of injury among ‘kayayei.’
“We have a team of professors who have already come up with the conceptual design, and we are in the process of building one prototype which we hope will be able to help reduce the injuries and health risks of head porters.”
On suggestions that the machine will encourage more young ladies to go into the business of head-porting, Prof. Adom-Asamoah said there was not much his outfit could do in that regard, but was certain that those already in the business will be trained to carry out their activities professionally.
“There are other parts of the proposal, one aspect is retraining of the Kayayei, but whatever we do there will still be a remnant, but generally once that is the job they are doing we must first make sure that we protect them, the ministry will think of ways of retraining them.”