The past two and a half years have been packaged with a pack of action for the city dwellers and those following events unfolding in Kampala city.
trueBy Peter Kaujju
The past two and a half years have been packaged with a pack of action for the city dwellers and those following events unfolding in Kampala city like enforcing trade order, removal of road side sellers, unsightly kiosks, organising taxi operations and now the registration of motorcycles.
The last one is a very interesting one with a history spanning over a decade.
The city has over the past 10 years registered a significant upturn of commercial motorcycles commonly referred to as boda bodas with current estimates at 200,000 operating in the city and its suburbs.
This sector employs an estimated 250,000 youth in Kampala and is a source of livelihood to over 500,000 people.
Whereas the motorcycles provide quick means of mobility in the city, they have come with associated challenges like accidents, insecurity, congestion and non-compliance with traffic regulations, among others.
Information available indicates that;
· Medical facilities across the city record an average of not less than five accidents a day of which a significant percentage is associated with motorcycles.
· 62% of the Mulago Referral Hospital department of Surgery budget is spent on Boda boda-related accidents.
· On average, about five children are victims of Boda boda accidents every week especially during school season
· Over 40% of all accidents in the city are associated with boda bodas.
· A health hazard to the riders the way they load huge and bulky items.
It is against this background that Kampala Capital City Authority initiated consultative engagements since 2011to bring a sense of order and sanity in this sector. We deserve an orderly and safe city.
Paragraph 7(j) and (m) of the Kampala Capital City Act 2010, under functions of the Authority, KCCA is mandated to organise and manage traffic and to assist in the maintenance of Law, Order and Security.
The registration exercise which commenced on September 9, with motorcycles owned by companies will help the city administration establish the number of motorcycles operating in the City. A total 2500 were registered by close of business September 13. The commercial motorcycles will take off on September 23 and end on October 5, in all divisions of Kampala. It is important to observe the timelines as only registered motorcycles will be issued with operational permits.
This will aid our planning for the industry on issues such as setting up stages, restoring of law and order, employment creation, developing of training opportunities, enable support services like insurance and regulating their operations in the City for the safety of all.
KCCA has over the past months worked with stakeholders such as the Police, Transport Licensing Board, Boda Boda Associations and the Boda Boda Leadership in Kampala to generate measures to streamline their operations.
Sensitisation of these groups has been on going and a programme for division engagements will continue as the exercise continues.
Registration is open to all motorcycle owners/operators within the five urban divisions of Kampala at no cost.
KCCA shall, on completion of the registration exercise, undertake the following:
· Build a database for the motorcycles operating in the City
· Issue identification numbers and the corresponding permits
· Introduce reflector jackets corresponding to the motorcycle number.
· Gazette motorcycle stages and construct sheds at the Stages
· Continue to work with the leadership of Boda boda in the City.
· Work with other Government agencies and Stakeholders to address the challenges faced by Boda bodas in the City like acquisition of riding licenses and access to finance among others.
· Enforce a citywide Motorcycle code of conduct.
Benefits of the Motorcycle registration and streamlining exercise
· An orderly City
· A safer City with less crime associated with Boda Bodas through the provision of an identification system for all motorists.
· A reduction on the cost of accidents.
· A better organised boda boda industry which can easily be monitored and economically supported.
It should be further noted that a lot of misinformation has been churned out alleging that KCCA is intending to chase away Boda bodas from the city. It is our call to create a safe working environment for all in the city, while at the same time safeguarding the economic interests of all trading groups, Boda boda operators inclusive.
It is unfortunate that on September 9, some acts of hooliganism on led to torching and destruction of property bringing to a halt some services like garbage collection.
KCCA is committed to improving service delivery in the city and it is collective responsibility to guard what has been put in place as well as observe the law.
The writer is the spokesperson – Kampala Capital City Authority
Motorcycle registration timely