Nairobi, 17th June… Addressing the escalating cases of motorbike (boda boda) theft nationwide, Watu Credit, the Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya, and the National Police Service, in collaboration with the Taita Taveta County Commissioner, have forged a powerful alliance. This tripartite agreement is a united front against the pressing issue of boda-boda theft, a menace that has been severely impacting the livelihoods of numerous riders in the county.

Watu will lead the efforts by working with the partners to deploy multiple approaches to combat the surge in boda boda theft, particularly in the peripheral coastal counties, following successful concerted efforts to eliminate criminal activities from Mombasa County.

Speaking during a Watu Boda Boda Clinic at Voi Stadium, Taita Teveta Governor Hon. Andrew Mwadime said the partnership will strengthen the county’s efforts to combat boda boda theft. She emphasised the need to protect riders’ livelihoods and ensure swift justice for theft victims.

“Boda boda is a fundamental mode of transport in both rural and urban counties in Kenya, including Taita Taveta, which has enormously contributed to rapid economic growth and improvement of access to critical services at manageable costs. Their safety and security are a very crucial agenda which requires a multi-sectoral approach, and we are happy to partner with Watu Kenya and the national government to provide a long-lasting solution,” Taita Teveta Governor Hon. Andrew Mwadime said.

The partnership will include the deployment of advanced tracking systems and security devices in motorcycles, community policing in collaboration with stage chairpersons, increased police patrols in theft-prone areas to deter criminal activities and the establishment of a rapid response team to handle theft incidents promptly. Additionally, the County Boda Boda Association office will conduct regular safety sensitisation seminars for the riders and promote community awareness campaigns to encourage residents and riders to support and cooperate with law enforcement agencies.  

“This partnership is a testament to our commitment to our customers’ safety and security. We are dedicated to helping them safeguard their assets as part of our after-sale service.  We firmly believe that our success is intertwined with our customers’ well-being. This collaboration is a significant stride towards creating a safer environment for all riders. We plan to replicate such partnerships across the country,” Watu County Manager Erick Massawe said.

The event marked a pivotal step towards tackling this growing concern, which has adversely affected the livelihoods of many riders in the county.

“This partnership enables us to strengthen law enforcement efforts in Taita Taveta County to combat boda boda theft and using motorbikes to commit crimes.  We will double police patrols in high-risk areas, improve investigation techniques, and focus on apprehending perpetrators by relying on data from Watu and first-hand witness accounts from boda boda stage chairpersons throughout the County,” said Voi Sub-County Deputy County Commissioner Daniel Nduti

During the clinic, participants had the opportunity to engage with the company representatives, share their challenges, and receive assurance of Watu’s commitment to working collaboratively with them.  The boda boda sector is crucial in Kenya, supporting over 1.2 million individuals in accessing employment opportunities, transporting goods, and providing essential services.

“The safety and security of our members are paramount. This collaboration will help reduce theft incidents and empower our riders with the knowledge and tools to protect themselves and their motorbikes while improving our working relationship with the police,” Boda Boda Safety Association of Kenya National Chairman Kevin Mubadi said.

Watu Credit goes beyond simply providing financial loans to empower boda boda drivers. Recognizing the sector’s importance, Watu has launched several non-financial initiatives. These include Watu Shule, a dedicated riding school to improve road safety, and equipping boda boda offices across the country with essential supplies. This comprehensive approach fosters a stronger and more successful boda boda community.

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