Githunguri Member of Parliament Mr. Gabriel Kago has initiated a youth empowerment programme targeting bodaboda for free training on road safety measures and driving lessons to reduce rising cases of road carnage in the industry.
The initiative which include the issuance of driving licenses and reflectors after trainees concluded the driving classes has seen at least 200 riders benefit from the programme in partnership with Rocky Driving school.
Speaking in Githunguri Stadium during a ceremony to hand over driving licences to fresh graduates of the initiative last Friday Mr. Kago said that his office-the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF) had set aside adequate funds for the exercise.
He said the pilot programme commenced last year during which each beneficiary was given 20,000 shilling to cater for their driving lessons.
“The programme’s objective was to uplift socio-economic status of the youth across the sub-county thus transforming the industry that is envisaged to reduce the big number of accidents caused by the motor bike riders.
In the ceremony he issued the riders with some red reflectors and a helmet to one of the members as a showcase on how a motorbike rider should be dressed while riding for their safety and the passengers.
He noted that the licenses would last only for three years hence urging the riders after the period is over one should ensure that they renewed or else he or she will face heavy punishment by the law.
In addition he said that no rider will be allowed to use the road without a license and will be registered as the government sought to rein in rogue operators.
A fortnight ago, the government and Stakeholders in the transport sector rolled out a road safety program aimed at enhancing the skills of boda boda riders both licensed and unlicensed.
The program which was launched in 3 counties of Machakos, Kajiado and Kiambu is targeting 1.4 million riders countrywide who were to undergo training that will help the riders when they are executing their job in the transport sector.
During the official launch held at the Ndumberi stadium in Kiambu County, the Cabinet Secretary for ICT, Innovation and Youth affairs Mr. Joe Mucheru said Over 90 percent of the traffic crashes in Kenya were attributed to human crashes and human error related factors that can be addressed promptly after the riders were trained and empowered with the necessary skills.
The Nationwide boda-boda program specifically aims at inculcating discipline, national values, and mindset change among boda boda riders while enhancing the rider’s skills and competencies.
Mr. Mucheru noted that the training would also increase the rider’s entrepreneurial skills and also assist them to appreciate their role in road safety.
Mr Samson Odiero a supervisor from Rocky Driving School said that they had received more than 500 students. He said that among the issues they addressed in the training were discipline and obedience to traffic laws and Highway Code. “The members were educated on basics of maintenance of their motorcycles road courtesy and also equipped with first aid skills”, he said.
He further added that they had two categories of training which include B1 light which are both favorable for manual and automatic vehicles while B is only for automatic cars. He reminded the beneficiaries that the licenses would expire in 2023 and thereafter one can apply for a smart driving license for only 3,050 shillings and 650 shillings for Uber endowment driving license.
Talking to Paul Mwaura, a beneficiary from the training program, he thanked the area MP for supporting them in such a programme and situation since most could not afford to pay for themselves.
He however urged his fellow colleagues to form some Sacco’s as a saving point where they can buy motorbikes for those who do not own their own and also assist in building and developing the entire Githunguri community.
The event was graced by the Assistant county Commissioner Joseph Kangori, Base commander Naomi Muturi, CDF chairman Joseph Kabari, Rev Njoki Waringe, Gukena FM presenter Njoki Mburu among many others.
by Lydia Shiloya and Ann Kariuki