Being the first responders when road accidents occur, bodaboda operators will be equipped to administer first aid and possibly save lives
On August 26, over 400 bodaboda and tuktuk riders were trained on road safety and self-first aid in a tripartite initiative dubbed “Tujenge Msingi” by Watu Credit Limited, Kisumu County and the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA).
The programme aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused by motorbike accidents on the road by embedding safety into the culture of bodaboda riders. Data from the NTSA shows that bodabodas currently account for the second-highest number of fatalities on the road. In 2022, the sector recorded over 1,200 fatalities, a number that is slightly higher than the previous year.
Speaking during the programme, Erick Massawe, Kenya country manager, Watu said: “We are committed to partnering with the government to mainstream safety within our bodaboda sector.”
Additionally, the programme advanced advocacy for electric vehicles in the County. Andrii Volokha, East Africa General Manager, Watu said that: “The future of transportation is shifting towards electric vehicles and we are well positioned to pioneer their adoption in the bodaboda sector. Already we are providing affordable and flexible financing for electric bodas and today we have brought some models in partnership with our dealers for the riders to test.”
The riders were taken through comprehensive training on safety, which covered creating awareness of safety rules that they should adhere to on the road. Furthermore, they were trained on how to provide self-medical aid and aid to others in cases of accidents, they were given free medical check-ups to promote good health while on the road, free checkups for their motorbikes including oil changes, and a second-hand motorbike market place for affordable options.
On his part, Samuel Musumba, program director, of the National Transport and Safety Authority said that for there to be sustainable development in the boda sector, riders need to be equipped with safety equipment and knowledge they will need to self-regulate themselves.
“Initiatives like this will continue to address the rising number of accidents annually and add to the positive contribution that the sector brings to economic development,” said Mr Musumba.
Since its establishment in 2015, Watu has financed over 730,000 bodabodas in the country.