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Boda Boda Riders in Gulu City Struggle to Survive During Lockdown :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Boda Boda Riders in Gulu City Struggle to Survive During Lockdown

George Okumu, the Chairperson Nyeko Bali Kare Stage in Pece-Laroo division told URN on Wednesday that since the restrictions was imposed last week he has only been able to raise not more than Shillings 5,000 from carrying luggage.
Boda boda cyclists during the launch of the 16 days of activism. photo by Michael Ojok

Audio 4

Boda-boda cyclists in Gulu City are struggling to survive following a ban on carrying passengers.

Last week, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni banned all motorcycle riders from carrying passengers in a bid to control the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).    Boda-boda riders were also restricted to operate up to 5 pm.

As a result, most riders within Gulu City have opted to park their motorcycles at home with a handful defying the ban and carrying passengers in a bid to fend for their families.  George Okumu, the Chairperson of Nyeko Bali Kare Stage in Pece-Laroo division says that since the restrictions were imposed last week he has only been able to rise not more than 5,000 Shillings from carrying luggage.   

Okumu disclosed that initially, he would get more than 20,000 Shillings daily adding that currently there are no customers because most businesses have also been restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

//Cue in ‘’ma cente kit….   

Cue out: …5,000 madite maloyo.’’//   

He added that it has become very challenging for him to provide food and other basic needs for his household due to the lack of money.   

Okumu appealed with the government to ease the restrictions by allowing boda-bodas to carry only one passenger and also extend the curfew time to 9:00 pm.   

Sunday Olweny, another rider in the Pece-Laroo division says that his family of five people comprising children has been reduced to feeding one meal a day due to the lack of money since his business is struggling due to the restrictions. 

//Cue in: ‘’alego alega ni…   

Cue out: …lutino nyero gang.’’/   

Christopher Jungle Oceng, another rider says that life has become very challenging for him and his family due to limited income for his household yet he also picked his motorcycle on loan and is required to pay 10,000 Shillings daily.  

Jungle added that people are also having trust issues with them and failing to give them their luggage to carry to their different places for fear that they may lose them.  

//Cue in: ‘’gi wayi wa…   

Cue out: …iromo culu lalonyo.’’//   

However, Mercy Anena, a resident of Layibi-Bardege division said that she cannot trust her luggage with boda-boda riders in her absence, adding that money has also become scarce due to the closure of most business entities.   

Denis Odongpiny the Gulu City Resident Commissioner asked the boda-boda riders to respect the guidelines adding that they cannot go against the president`s directive aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19.    

Joseph Odoch, the Tugende Gulu branch manager instead asked the boda-boda riders to venture into farming at this time when their businesses are struggling and also embrace the culture of saving.

//Cue in: ‘’to at least…   

Cue out: …start other businesses.’’//

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