The Lord Mayor of Kampala City Authority (KCCA) has asked government to allow an enabling transport system in Uganda through enacting a national transport law to remedy the lacuna in management, regulation and operation.
He was launching a research report on the inner workings of Boda boda association in Greater Kampala.
This meeting attended by the Civil Society Coalition on Transport in Uganda (CISCOT) members led by Ag. ED Baguma Richard Rwatoro involved a dissemination of research study findings on the nexus for “between regulation and informality of the Boda Boda industry in Uganda”
This discussion held at FairWay Hotel in Kampala drew stakeholders of the transport sector together to discuss a report on findings conducted by Dr Isolo Mukwaya, Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union and Makerere Urban Action Lab examined the process of organisation and operations of the he motorcycle taxi associations in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area.
It also provided a highlight on the importance of the industry and the need for regulation of what everyone termed as a mess and grossly dangerous industry.
While launching the report, the Lord Mayor KCCA Erias Lukwago also commended the commissioning of such research by the FES Uganda as a tool kit for better planning in the country.
“The Boda Boda industry as it is has been politicised and portrayed for all the wrong reasons, but with these findings the entities involved should be able to plan for it” Mr Lukwago emphasised.
He added; “It’s now possible to get on a drawing table and resolve the boda boda debacle. Review existing transport policy and create a national legislation”.
About 25% of the population of GKMA directly depend on the industry income according to the findings. More recently, it’s evident the Boda has become a key part of the country’s fabric with the digitisation of the urban economy drastically changing the the transport system.
Achim Vogt, the country director Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Uganda said as government grapples with regulation of the industry, they need to look at it as a strategic and viable business in achieving a sustainable city and communities whose target indicators point to affordable transport for all.
Despite emerging issues of safety and security in urban mobility whose lawlessness has been linked to the riders prominent embodiment in the day-to day life, boda boda remain a cheap, efficient, convenient and flexible mode of transportation especially to bypass traffic congestion and overcome poor road surfaces.
They still stand our for the low cost, responsiveness and manoeuvrability in serving a public need created by poor government planning of the transport system and infrastructure in the country.
The stakeholders agree that the hazards and risk around it can be overcome through effective regulation.
The Boda Boda industry however according to the findings remain a self regulating industry through formally organised and registered groups and informally organised committees.
A decade ago, in the early 2000s collective efforts to galvanise the industry were started by government, it however would fall prey to patronage and God fathering, a character found with many associations in the industry.
There also fears and uncertainties in the findings associated regulatory and enforcement arms of government such rivalry that cannot help the industry to advance.
Stakeholders in the transport and logistics industry applauded the findings and pledged to use the eminent report in planning while urging the MDAs relevant to be as inclusive as possible to utilise the findings and create a convergence of solutions to the existing stalemate over both boda boda census and registration.
Less than 1% of the Boda drivers in Kampala are trained for the job raising risk of the fatality so high, the industry has attracted an estimated million riders who in turn benefit another million because at least 2 people could use a Boda every day.