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Filling the family's transport gap in sub-Saharan Africa : young people and load carrying in Ghana.

Porter, G. and Blaufuss, K. and Owusu Acheampong, F. (2010) 'Filling the family's transport gap in sub-Saharan Africa : young people and load carrying in Ghana.', in Geographies of children, youth and families : an international perspective. London: Routledge, pp. 189-202.


This chapter considers the implications of sub-Saharan Africa’s transport gap for young people. In urban and rural areas, wherever transport services are deficient, or households lack the economic purchasing power to acquire transport equipment or pay fares, much everyday transport work needed to sustain the family and household is delegated to young people, especially girls. In most regions this involves putting the load in some sort of receptacle – perhaps a plastic container, metal bowl, hessian sack, cardboard box, or a locally woven basket – and then balancing it on the head, which is often protected by a small coil of cloth to make the burden more comfortable. Water and fuel commonly predominate among the loads being carried, even in urban areas, because of the widespread absence of piped water and electricity, but other items such as agricultural produce and groceries are also regularly transported in this way. Loads are carried to sustain the household directly, in terms of providing water, fuel and food, but also to enable participation in the cash economy.

Item Type:Book chapter
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Geographies of children, youth and families: an international perspective on 15/12/2010, available online:
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:03 March 2014
Date of first online publication:December 2010
Date first made open access:No date available

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