Cameroon Task Force
Personal Energy Transportation (PET)
PET International is a world-wide humanitarian organization providing mobility through Personal Energy Transportation (PET), a hand powered tricycle-like vehicle, to individuals who are unable to walk (many whom have been effected by medical problems such as polio, club feet, or other birth defects. There are in excess of 20 million people in developing countries unable to walk. With over 31,000 Personal Energy Transportation (PETs) distributed in 95 countries, PETs have gained international recognition.
Living in Cameroon - Not Easy
Meet Mr. Thomas: Cameroon is not an easy place to live with physical disabilities. Thomas, is a middle-aged man who has lived life with effects of childhood polio. He lives in a home that would never make it in Alaska. It was easy to see daylight between the wood siding on the home he shares with several other families. Each has one or two rooms off a central shared space. It is unpainted on the inside and outside. He pointed to holes in the roof that leak during rain. The single window has shutters to close at night for privacy – but on that day – it was filled with curious neighborhood children. Thomas supports himself by renting out stackable plastic chairs for large family or community events.
Infrastructure Problems in Cameroon
It was a big dose of reality to see how difficult it is for people who need physical assistance to live. There are no government programs to help people build ramps or get access to buildings. Paved streets with curbs have no cutouts. And in Douala, paved streets with sidewalks also have huge gutters (1 foot wide and up to 2 feet deep) to handle rain runoff. Some are covered and some aren’t – and I was always afraid I’d forget to keep my eyes open and fall into one.