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Bodaboda operators urged to prioritize their health

As registration of bodaboda operators continued in most part of Monday in counties across the country, different leaders officiating the launch continued to offer advice to the bodaboda operators, geared towards improving their business and their social lives.

Presiding over the launching of registration at Kibera Huduma centre, Health Principal Secretary (PS) Susan Mochache, challenged Bodaboda operators to prioritize their health, since it affects their work, families and customers.

The PS noted that the government through the Ministry of Health under the Universal Health Care (UHC) Program will enroll the first 200,000 bodaboda operators to be registered into the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF).

The PS urged the riders who have not been vaccinated to make arrangements as the Covid-19 virus is still with us.

“This process should have come way earlier in time but all is not lost now. The future of the bodaboda sector is shining bright. Ensure that as a bodaboda operator you are registered,” she insisted.

Nairobi Regional Commissioner (RC) William Kang’ethe Thuku, lauded the government for exempting bodaboda operators from the registration fees stating that the government had a great vision when it put this measure in place.

“Once registered, bodaboda riders will be connected to the owners of the motorcycles, in cases where one is employed. In addition, each rider will be placed in a bodaboda association within their operational area,” Thuku explained.

He noted that with effect from 1st April, problem solving forums will commence countrywide in the county, sub county and location levels to meet with bodaboda representatives of those respective areas.

And in Bomet County Commissioner Suzan Waweru, affirmed that the move is aimed at streamlining the transport sub-sector and promoting road safety and security for the operators and their customers.

“The Government supports the boda boda subsector as it is a source of livelihood for the millions of youths in our country, however, reforms are necessary to ensure all Kenyans feel safe when they use boda boda or encounter one,” she explained Ms Waweru.

Waweru affirmed that reforms in the boda boda sector are aimed at reversing the unfortunate trend whereby riders exhibit risky and dangerous road use behaviours leading to accidents where lives are lost and people maimed.

“We have lost more than seven thousand people in the last five years only, which means the lives of productive people have been cut short, children have been left without breadwinners, suffering of dependents, and we want to change this norm of carelessly losing lives,” observed Ms Waweru.

Meanwhile in Makueni, the bodaboda operators were reminded to join saccos, through which they could save their income and access loans when they needed at lower interest rates than from other financial institutions.

Launching the registration exercise at Huduma centre at Wote town, the Director of Administration Ministry of Lands Mr Samuel Masoo Mwati, challenged the 18,000 boda boda operators to ensure they save some money every month from which they would get loans at low interest rate whenever they needed, especially buying motorcycles.

“I have been told that there are 18,000 boda boda riders in the county. If each one of you can save Sh400 per month, this could amount to huge sums of money that you can borrow cheaply from the SACCO at a low interest rate. This can also help you to invest,” said Mwaki when he launched officially the 60 days of boda boda registration

Further, he reminded the motorcycle riders that the government had no grudge against the boda boda sector but said the government was trying to regulate and eliminate criminals from the sector across the country.

Addressing the same function, the Makueni Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Mr Joel Mwangala, asked the boda boda to take advantage of the free registration to ensure they don’t miss out in this exercise.

“This registration for now is free and it has more benefits to you than just on your work. It will help you register for The National Social Security Fund (NSSF), for your retirement savings; the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to access affordable health care,” observed Mwangala.

And in the cool Kericho highlands, the Principal Secretary for Post Training and Skills Development Mr Alfred Cheruiyot, called on all commercial motorcycle riders to join SACCOs and operate within the rules and regulations of the SACCOs in order to streamline the sector that has for long been grappling with challenges.

He was speaking at Huduma centre, Kericho, during the launch of the mandatory fresh registration of all boda-boda riders, where he said the ongoing reforms exercise in the sector will mitigate negative trends through advocating for safe riding habits, training, and capacity building of registered operators which will in turn restore sanity.

The PS was accompanied by the Kericho County Commissioner Mr Kamau Karungo, who lauded the riders for responding in large numbers to the registration exercise noting that it was an indication that the operators were ready to adopt the government reforms in the sector.

The Kericho County Boda-boda Association Chairman Edwin Koros, disclosed that over 20,000 riders in Kericho will be registered in the exercise that commenced on 28th March up until 24th June this year.

The regulatory authority released a list of requirements all riders are expected to present for a successful registration process including original identification (ID) cards and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Personal Identification Number. The operators are also required to have a working phone number.

By KNA Team

 

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