by Jin Zheng and Christine Lagat
NAIROBI, March 5 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Office at Nairobi on Monday launched a bicycle sharing transport scheme for staff and visitors as part of broader efforts to advance the green agenda.
Senior officials said the two-wheel machines donated by Chinese bike sharing giant, Mobike, will enhance movement in the sprawling UN compound and promote health of riders alongside the sustainable mobility concept in Kenya.
"Our bike share scheme will serve as a best practice for visiting countries, cities and other organizations. Initiatives like these are a good starting point in showing how convenient non-motorized transport can be both for getting around and protecting our environment," said Executive Director of UN Environment (UNEP) Erik Solheim.
The UNEP boss revealed that Mobike donated 100 bicycles to support the eco-friendly transport model within the UN offices in Nairobi.
"We are starting with 100 bikes but hope to add more over time," Solheim said, adding that the UN environment body supports carbon free mobility in Africa's rapidly growing cities.
At the same time, Solheim disclosed that the UN offices at Nairobi will next week host Africa clean mobility week where the bike sharing scheme will be showcased to delegates.
It is said that the bike sharing scheme at the UN offices in Nairobi will help facilitate smooth flow of human traffic that has intensified in recent times.
Sahle-Work Zewde, the director-general of the United Nations Office at Nairobi said the user-friendly bicycles will enable over 3,100 staff to move freely within the large compound.
"We have a complex and important task to our staff, consultants, contractors and visitors-to help them on arrival, get around and leave the compound in a safe, efficient and sustainable manner," Work Zewde remarked.
She noted that the bike sharing scheme will strengthen the broader UN sustainability agenda.
Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, the deputy executive director of UN Human Settlements Program (UNHABITAT) also hailed the launch of the bike sharing scheme, terming it a milestone in green transport.
"Cycling means better air quality and improved urban transport," Kacyira said.
UNEP and Mobike signed a memorandum of understanding to form a strategic partnership in September 2017. The partnership aims to globally promote the development of sustainable transportation and works towards the goal of a pollution-free planet.