The researchers at the department of population studies say they interviewed and tested over 780 riders in four Kampala divisions of Makindye, Nakawa, Rubaga and Kawempe where they would flag down whoever was carrying a passenger or one that had just dropped off a customer.
One in ten Boda Boda riders operating in Kampala are using
cannabis, cocaine, Crystal methamphetamine or other addictive drugs. This is according
to a study by Makerere University.
The researchers at the department of population studies say they interviewed
and tested over 780 riders in four Kampala divisions of Makindye, Nakawa,
Rubaga and Kawempe where they would flag down whoever was carrying a passenger
or one that had just dropped off a customer.
Prof. Betty Kwagala the Principal Investigator on the study says that they used
a test kit where they would do an oral or saliva swab on whoever agreed.
Apart from testing for drug use, scientists also assessed whether riders own
valid licenses and if they ever underwent any form of training before joining
the trade. Just 3% had undergone a form of training whereas 11% possessed
Asked why they didn’t have permits, Dr Patricia Ndugga says the majority of the
riders said the process of acquiring a permit is tedious and costly to many.
//Cue in: “One in ten cyclists…
Cue out: “…to these cyclists”. //
Richard Ssendi, the Head of Planning at the Ministry of Works and
Transport said that riders require about 300,000 Shillings to process a permit.
He adds that the study by the scientists will be discussed to reform the
//Cue in: “Government is improving…
Cue out: “…will be taken on”. //
As part of the recommendations, the researchers said that Boda Boda riders
ought to be tested for drug use before renewing their permits in addition to
putting in place training institutions that give riders basics before going
joining the business.
However, for the riders that accepted to be enrolled into care to
stop using drugs, they were referred to a local NGO Harm Reduction Uganda for
Twalib Wamala, the Executive Director says the riders were, in
turn, referred to Butabika hospital for free treatment.
//Cue in:” Key common drugs…
Cue out: “…makes you active”. //
The study was paid for by the government through the Makerere
University Research and Innovations Fund (MAK RIF), although the researchers
say it only gives part of the story as they predict the burden could be bigger
considering that they only involved cyclists who work during the day because of
the COVID-19 curfew restrictions.
The main triggers of drug use, the respondents reported they wanted to be
energized and stay awake for long hours while some said they were stress