A Dar es Salaam-based Acclavia Insurance Brokers has unveiled an insurance package that covers 'bodaboda' riders and their passengers against accident.
Acclavia Executive Director, Mr Ancelimi Mushi said about 500 bodaboda riders in Dar es Salaam are set to benefit from the Life and Permanent disabilities insurance by Acclavia through its 'Boda Salama' project.
Speaking during a bodaboda festival, organised by the Bodaboda Association in Ilala District in Dar es Salaam over the weekend, he said the idea came up after an investigation at Muhimbili Orthopeadic Institute (MOI) revealed most of bodaboda operators have no any insurance cover and as results they end up in abject poverty when they are injured in accidents or become incapacitated.
He said a Boda Salama member should contribute 56,000/ annually, which is equal to 4,000/- per month.
The member will be compensated with two new motorcycles and 500,000/- cash when he/she loses a body part, he said adding in case of a principal member's death, two motorcycles will be given to the family, plus 1.5m/-.
Once the member has lost his/her spouse, she/he is to receive 1m/-, and 500,000 when lost a child, he said. MOI Spokesperson, Mr Patrick Mvungi said most of bodaboda operators who get admitted to the Institute have no insurance cover and cannot pay for medical services they receive.
According to him body implants which are fixed to patients are imported and expensive.
When the patients cannot pay the bill the institution bears the burden of the unpaid bills. "We receive patients sometimes in unconscious state and we must treat them as per our roles and responsibilities.
When they wake up already fixed with an implant to the affected organ and tell us they are unable to clear the bill it becomes our burden," he said. He hailed government efforts towards plans to introduce universal health cover, saying the move will solve challenges they face.
The head of Ilala Bodaboda Association, Mr Abdalla Bakari said that convincing bodaboda operators to join both health and life insurance was among the reasons behind the introduction of the festival which will be run countrywide on annual basis.
The festival was also aimed at informing the Association members that bodaboda operating is like any other businesses, hence, should be valued by motorcycle owners, operators as well as relevant authorities.
The bodaboda industry has become a key player in the provision of jobs and a source of living for many youths. Being a profession where no formal academic qualifications are required, many youths find a footing in the industry.
The repercussions for many riders involved in the accidents have become fatal leading to loss of lives not only to the rider but also the passenger.