Boda boda safety training targets 1.4m riders- Tobiko

Environment CS Keriako Tobiko(on a motorcycle) flanked by Governor Joseph Lenku among other leaders at Kajiado KCB ground during boda boda rider safety and training program launch .Photo Abdi Hussein

By Abdi Hussein

Co-operation from boda boda riders will be a major challenge in the nationwide boda boda safety training programme launched recentlyย in three regions as most of the riders claim they are unable to raise the Sh4, 500 fee required for the training.

Speaking at Kajiado KCB grounds during the launch of the safety programme recently, ย Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko said boda boda enterprise feed more than 8 millios Kenyans daily direct and indirectly yet most riders are not trained contributing to high boda boda riders mortality.

The national government programme in collaboration with National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) and National Youth Service (NYS) is aimed to raise road safety awareness across the country and ensure all riders are trained and licensed, according to the National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) Deputy Director General Badu Katelu.
Katelu  said that up to 70% of boda boda riders lack driving licences and lack road safety skills endangering lives with 1,548 riders recorded to have died in road accidents in 2019 alone.More than 10,000 riders are said to have sustained injuries.

He said the training programme will be elaborate on road safety, preventive health  and micro finance enterprises to empower riders.

“Riders are the biggest casualties of road carnage and we must change the narrative by ensuring all riders are trained and awarded with licences,” said Mr Katelu.

He urged all key stakeholders and county governments to support the programme to help facilitate riders to enroll in the training to safeguard lives.

Mr Tobiko said the training targets 1.4 million boda boda riders in the country expressing optimism the consultative  programme will help curb road carnage.

“The national government in collaboration with road safety stakeholders will ensure the boda boda enterprise is safeguarded by ensuring all riders are licensed. Boda boda riders contribute to Sh353 billion to the economy annually,” said Keriako. He also marshalled riders to support the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) assuring them it will facilitate more resources to the grassroots.

Kajiado Governor Joseph ole lenku  said the boda boda sector can be streamlined by ensuring proper training of the riders and wide consultation on matters affecting them.

“We have grieved with our boda boda riders families left destitute by the deaths of breadwinners. My government will sponsor the first batch of 2,000 of riders to be trained.We will seize the subsidized charges to ensure the 20,000 riders in the entire country are trained,” said Lenku.

The National Youth Service (NYS) chairman  said 7,000 trainers have undergone rigorous training to be able to train riders across the country.

Most  riders said the training is key for them to acquire road safety skills but called on the government to consider reducing the training fee or make it free.

They said they are enveloped by major economic hurdles as competition and post Covid-19 remains major hurdles.

“Most of us make less than Sh500 per day to support our families. Let the government consider making the programme free to help us.

The programme will be conducted in technical colleges across the county.

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