Letter from Eritrea

After the CNN Heroes Program in July, 2008, Dave Schweidenback received this email.



Congratulations! A well deserved recognition.

I am a living witness to the powerful incentive your bicycles provide.

In 1995–1996 because of your and P4P’s help, I literally collected all the discarded lead batteries that people in rural Eritrea throw away as litter once these were used up or expired. People had no idea how poisonous lead could be.

What I did was to offer one of your sturdy used bicycles to any one who collected and brought in at least one pound of discarded batteries. I can tell you the entire Eritrean countryside was cleared of all this deadly litter. I made sure that the collected batteries were disposed of in an environmentally sound way. There were many other wonderful uses to which we put the almost 3000 bicycles you sent to Eritrea.

Thank you for all your help

Naigzy Gebremedhin, Formerly Coordinator of Eritrea’s Environmental Management Plan


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