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Working as a delivery rider during the Coronavirus outbreak – Peter Wafula, Safeboda

"As long as someone takes precautionary measures, the spread COVID-19 is something that can be prevented." Peter Wafula.

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"As long as someone takes precautionary measures, the spread COVID-19 is something that can be prevented." Peter Wafula.

If you order in, send a parcel or request a ride with Safeboda, it is likely that Peter is the rider you’ll meet. No matter the weather or the existing risks – and those risks are greater now than before.

During this global Coronavirus pandemic - which has led to most people isolating themselves under government stay-at home directives, delivery riders like Peter are the only connection to the outside world. They’ve become vital in delivering essentials whenever and wherever they are needed. However, their ubiquitous presence in the streets might have you thinking it is still business as usual for them. It’s not. Peter of SafeBoda gives us insights of how Coronavirus has impacted their work and how safe it is to still request your ride or order your favourite food in. Here is Peter's story:-

My name is Peter Wafula, I work with SafeBoda (rider number SB 2913). I stay in Juja, Kiambu County but I work in Nairobi. Juja, which is about 32km from CBD seems far but is ideal for me as it’s not congested, and the rental houses are affordable. I love watching movies and having fun with my family during my free time.

I joined SafeBoda on 10th August 2019 - it’s the best choice I ever made. I carry passengers, do package & food deliveries through my SafeBoda application.

A lot has changed because of the Coronavirus outbreak, my take home has significantly reduced. Most customers are stuck or working from home as directed by the government which has destabilized business. Luckily, SafeBoda have launched Food delivery and gotten special passes for us to continue to deliver items to customers even after curfew hours.

As a rider my work involves interacting with people which is risky during this COVID-19 pandemic. However, I have a responsibility as a father to take care of my family by providing them with necessities and therefore need to go and work. I also got my bike through loan and I pay Ksh.500 daily whether I have worked or not. Therefore, I have to work to ensure that I meet the daily loan repayment plan. I’m also not used to staying at home, I prefer going out to work.

I’m fully aware of the risks and do everything possible to ensure I keep my customers and family safe. For example: -

  • Carrying one passenger at a time.

  • I bought a sanitizer that I carry with me every time I am at work and remind my customers to sanitize their hands before every trip.

  • I sanitize cash money every time I receive from the client.

  • I sanitize customer helmets every after use.

  • I give all my ride customers hairnets to prevent scalp contact with the helmets.

  • I wear protective masks provided by SafeBoda at very affordable prices.

There are no ‘hot zones’ or areas that I’ll say I can't drop or pick customers. I pick my customers from all pick up points and drop them at their preferred destinations. As long as someone takes precautionary measures, the spread COVID-19 is something that can be prevented.

From my experience with SafeBoda, the food delivery process is excellent since they are packaged well. The carriage bags provided by SafeBoda ensure that no rider handles food directly. The guys at the restaurants are the ones who put them in the carriage bag and the customer removes the food directly from the carriage bag minimizing the number of hands the food passes through. The carriage bags are also sanitized very frequently.

I urge all my bodaboda friends to be keen and follow the government's regulations in stopping the spread of Covid-19. It is the responsibility of every Kenyan to play a part in fighting this pandemic. We pray that all this will end soon, and things will return to normalcy.


Written by

Kelvin Mokaya

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