Gregory Lewyllie, a Belgian, has already travelled 27 countries covering 32,000km on his bike and is now in Moulvibazar, Sylhet
Gregory Lewyllie has been travelling the world from one hemisphere to another on a solar-powered bamboo-made bike with a message to save the environment.
The Belgian has already travelled to 27 countries covering 32,000km on his bike, and is now in Moulvibazar, Sylhet.
The bike is fitted with two solar panels which power the motors on his bike. However, when the battery is drained, it can be used as a normal pedal bicycle.
Gregory will stay in Sylhet for three to four more days and then tour the country in February. He will leave Bangladesh for Bhutan on March 6.
"Protecting the environment is necessary for saving every form of life including humans. Power generation directly affects the environment, and is responsible for climate change. Electricity is necessary for civilisation, and the solution lies in the solar panel," said Gregory to The Business Standard in the Moulvibazar Circuit House area on Wednesday (January 29).
"If solar panels become popular throughout the world, environmental pollution caused by power generation will come down," he added.
He entered Bangladesh on January 18 through the Dawki border in Sylhet, and then rested there for eight days because his right shoulder was injured. He will soon go to Dhaka on the first leg of his journey across the country.
Gregory Lewyllie (48) completed his master's degree in television journalism from Brussels University. He now teaches information technology at a school in Belgium.
He said this is the third phase of his travel which started on June 3, 2018. He started from Belgium and toured France, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Laos, India and finally came to Bangladesh on his bike.
He has made two earlier tours to increase awareness about solar power. The first was from 2006 to 2009 and the second from 2013 to 2014. In the first two tours he travelled countries like Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Bulgaria.
He used a normal bicycle in the previous tours, but this time he is using a special bike for the first time.
He collected the bamboo for the bike from Uganda. The trailer that attaches onto the rear of the bike is 4.20-metre long and one metre wide, and is used to hold a solar panel and his luggage.
He intends to ship his bike from Chattogram to Belgium because he will travel Bhutan without it for two weeks before returning to his country.
He said, "I have made many friends on my long journey. I am delighted by the new environment, the new faces and culture in every country. This is the biggest gain in the journey. Common people accepted me as one of their own wherever I went."
Every man is for the existence of humankind. We should come forward to protect the environment for the sake of every life, he added.