About 4,000-boda boda riders in Kirinyaga have benefited from the boda boda sheds project initiated by the County Governor Anne Waiguru.
A total of 28 sheds have been constructed at various towns and trading centers across all the sub-counties, each serving as picking or dropping points for about 150 riders within those areas. The sheds have created a conducive working environment for boda boda operators.
“We requested the governor to construct for us sheds and she heard our plea. We are now comfortable as we work in a conducive environment, whether it rains or it shines we have no worries,” said John Wachira, a boda boda operator in Kerugoya town.
He said that they have seen the fruits of devolution under Waiguru’s leadership and they can only hope that she will be re-elected to complete the projects that she has been implementing.
Joseph Maina, who operates at Kukena stage in Kutus says that before the shed was constructed, whenever it rained they could reluctantly show up for work because they had nowhere to shelter themselves, hence incurring losses. Others would take shelter outside shops, a gesture which the business owners did not take kindly.
Kennedy Mutugi expressed his gratitude to the governor, noting that she has proven that she has the interest of the boda boda sector at heart by recognizing the need to improve their work environment.
“During the ongoing rainy season, we are happy that we can work without interruption since we are under the shed,” he said.
On her part, Waiguru has said that the project is part of a continuous youth empowerment program that has seen her distribute jackets and helmets to boda boda riders and sport uniforms to teams across the county.
She said the sheds are part of her project of empowering boda boda riders to run a sustainable enterprise, noting that the sheds, distributed across the county will enable the riders to work in a friendlier environment suitable for them and their customers.
She noted that the initial phase of the project targeted areas that have a higher population of riders which is mainly within the county’s main towns.
Boda boda sector, which generates millions of shillings daily in the county, has become a formidable source of income to many young people and forms a crucial part of the county’s public transport system.
Apart from transporting people to various destinations across the county, boda bodas are majorly used by farmers to transport their farm produce to the market.
Traders also use the same means of transport to take goods from the main trading centers to their businesses located in the interior parts of the county.
Residents also rely on boda boda riders for various errands such as delivery of goods and even shopping from the market to their houses.
Some 7,300 riders have so far been registered in their respective Saccos across Kirinyaga County.
By Irungu Mwangi