In the last blog, I mentioned that one of the ways BUVs were helpful in Cameroon was by providing men with good, paying jobs. One of the other helpful attributes of the BUV is that the BUV allows families to haul more crops to the market. The market in Cameroon only happens on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The market in Haiti, around the Port-au-Prince area where I was in May of 2010, happens on a similar week day and then on Saturday. These are the only two days that farmers/entrepreneurs can sell their crops or goods. Therefore not only does the BUV provide more jobs in the community, it also helps farmers/sellers get their crops to the market on the only two days a week that they can sell their goods. In fact, around 40% of the goods grown are lost from not being able to sell them due to the lack of means of transportation. As mentioned before, most people do not want to take a taxi to the market because that essentially takes away some money from the small amount of money they will earn that day.
One of the biggest hassles for our team was traveling, not because of the lack of transportation but because of the severity of the unpaved roads and the distance between everything. The big market near the village that we lived in is in Bangang, which was about an hour away by foot with very little on your back. Therefore it is somewhat unrealistic to just bring some of the goods to the market and yet it is also unrealistic to bring everything. A seller never wants to run out but they also never want to have to carry a bunch of their own goods home along with any other purchases they made; it is all about a balance. While how much to bring is a guessing game every week, it could become less of a hit-or-miss experience with the help of the BUV. Not only could several farmers bring their goods to the market all at one time, they could also always go back for more if they run out; whereas now people will just pack up when they run out. This could drastically change how much money some families are surviving on, allowing kids to get a good education and stay in school.