Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia earlier today presided over the launch of a nationwide Boda Boda Riders Training Programme at People’s Park, Machakos County.
The Ministries of Public Service and Gender, Interior and Coordination of National Government and that of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs are spearheading the training Programme to address the increasing road safety challenge in the Motorcycle Public Transport (Boda Boda) Sector in Kenya.
The programme is targeting close to 1.4 million riders countrywide with the National Youth Service (NYS) in collaboration with the National Transport and Safety Association (NTSA) set to conduct the training beginning in February 2021.
In her keynote address, Prof. Kobia called on the riders to hold each other accountable to restore road safety citing that the training programme is expected to restore order and discipline. “The training we have launched today is important since the accidents happening on our roads is attributed to human error,” she said.
Prof. Kobia noted that with over 1500 lives being lost annually through Boda Boda accidents the Government has had to do something to save lives by introducing the new programme that will ensure all the Riders undergo a refresher course to restore sanity in the Boda Boda sector.
Prof. Kobia noted that the program would specifically change the lives of the youth. “This program will economically empower the youth in order for them to make independent choices and be able to build their own country,” she said.
She urged the riders to develop a saving culture in order to diversify their investments in the future and develop themselves for a better livelihoods and that of their dependants.
Machakos County Governor, Dr. Alfred Mutua in his remarks welcomed the programme and committed to subsidizing the fee charged for the training to ensure all the riders undergo the refresher training in Machakos County. “For those already with licenses we shall pay the Ksh 750 for each and the ones without licenses will pay a subsidized fee,” he said.
The programme will be piloted in three (3) counties namely; Kiambu, Kajiado and Machakos and thereon to be rolled out in the remaining Counties in the country.
Motorcycle rider fatalities in Kenya have been increasing from as low as 34 in 2006 to 1,575 deaths in 2020 as per statistics obtained from the NTSA and the Traffic Police.
It is estimated that the sector employs about 1.7 million riders in our country who earn between Kshs.500/- and Kshs 750/- per day translating into over Ksh.15000 in a month.
Also present at the event was the National Youth Service Director General, Ms. Matilda Sakwa, Machakos County Commissioner, Mr. Fredrick Ndunga among other National and County Government officials.
By Nelly Kosgey