The Government Spokesperson Col (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna is urging boda boda operators in the country to promote road safety.
Oguna said the boda boda riders and pillion passengers often ignore traffic rules and fail to observe basic safety precautions such as wearing helmets and reflector jackets.
Oguna spoke at a forum organised by the Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya at Tononoka Social Hall in Mombasa.
He said most road accidents that occur are because many riders don’t respect traffic regulations which they see as time wasting but cost them dearly in the end.
The government spokesman acknowledged that the sector, despite being a significant means of employment for the youth, has a poor record for road safety.
He challenged the association that represents close to 1.4 million motorcycle riders in the country to champion for road safety training and reforms.
Oguna said the boda boda sector provides livelihood opportunities to the youth as they are able to generate a daily income for themselves, their families and dependents by ferrying passengers on their motorcycles.
He at the same time urged the riders to embrace the culture of saving and investing in viable projects so as to boost their standards of living.
“It’s high time those engaged in the boda boda business to discard the daily hand to mouth routine that would only perpetuate poverty,” he said.
Oguna said the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and BodaBoda Safety Association of Kenya signed a partnership to enhance the Universal Health Care (UHC) coverage across the 47 counties.
He said the government encourages those who are able to pay for the medical cover to do so since it is cheaper using insurance to cover medical bills than using cash payments which are costly in the long-term.
National chairman of Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya Kevin Mubadi, said the sector is determined to fight insecurity associated with boda boda business.
Mubadi said his association will strive to instill order and sanity in the sector and end crimes and traffic accidents associated with it.
NSSF senior employee Christopher Kisia urged boda boda riders to enlist in the Haba Na Haba NSSF product.
He said the Haba Haba is an informal sector product which aims to empower small and medium enterprises.
Kisia said members in the targeted group are able to save upwards of Sh25 per day and withdraw 50% of their savings after consistently contributing for 5 years.
He said to join one needs to dial *303# and follow prompts.
By Hussein Abdullahi and Natasha Omori