By Abdi Hussein
Most of the Bodaboda riders claim they cannot raise the Sh4, 500 fee required for the nationwide safety training program training launched recently.
The program sponsored by the national government in collaboration with National Transport Safety Authority (NTSA) and National youth service (NYS) is aimed to raise road safety awareness across the country.
The NTSA Deputy Director General Badu Katelu said all riders are expected to be trained and licensed after the training program.
Speaking at Kajiado KCB grounds during the launch of the safety program recently, Environment Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko said the enterprise feeds more than 8million Kenyans daily directly and indirectly.
He said the business is flourishing, yet most riders are not trained contributing to a high mortality of riders.
He told the meeting that 1.4million riders will be trained countrywide, expressing optimism the consultative program will help curb inevitable road carnage involving riders.
“The National government in collaboration with road safety stakeholders will ensure the enterprise is safeguarded by ensuring all riders are licensed because Bodaboda riders contribute to Sh353billion to the economy annually,” said Tobiko.
He also marshaled riders to support the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) assuring them that it will facilitate more resources to the grassroots.
Katelu said up to 70% of Bodaboda riders lack driving licenses and road safety skills endangering lives with 1,548 of them 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 program will be elaborate on road safety, preventive health and micro finance to empower riders.
“Riders are the biggest casualties of road carnage and we must change the narrative by ensuring all are trained and awarded with licenses,” said Mr Katelu.
He urged all key stakeholders and county governments to support the programme and facilitate riders to enroll in the training to safeguard lives.
Kajiado governor Joseph ole Lenku said the Bodaboda sector can be streamlined by ensuring proper training of the riders and wide consultation on matters affecting them.
“We have grieved with families of riders left destitute by the deaths of their breadwinners,” said Lenku.
He said the County will sponsor the first batch of 2,000 of riders to be trained and seize the subsidized charges to ensure the 20,000 riders in the entire county are trained.
The National Youth Service (NYS) officials said 7,000 trainers have undergone rigorous training to be able to train riders across the country.
Most riders agreed that 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.