Thika Tuktuk operators go digital to self-regulate and empower members.

Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina presents a laptop to Thika Tuktuk Supreme Organisation led by Chairman Raphael Karanja (in white shirt) to enable the group maintain their data and streamlines operations. 
Thika Tuktuk operators have embraced technology to self-regulate and empower their members by opening a standardised database covering all their operations.

Under their umbrella body, “Thika Tuktuk Supreme Organisation” which brings together over 30 tuktuk associations from Thika East and West sub-counties, the operators have managed to bring together about 1,200 tuktuk drivers and owners for a common course.

Speaking on Friday during the official launch of their database, Chairman Raphael Karanja said that the idea was borne after a myriad of challenges due to lack of coordination and necessary data needed whenever any of the operators or their customers were encountered with problems.

“Since 2004 when tuktuks started operating in this town, there has been no systems to monitor or regulate their operations. This has created disorder and anarchy within the industry which can be, in a certain degree, attributed to the rising cases of insecurity,” explained Karanja.

Karanja noted that with proper and accurate data, the industry would thrive and attract more customers.

He added that the confusion that has been there had made Thika a ‘Tuktuk dumpsite’ where anyone easily acquired a work ticket from the county government without any precaution as long as they paid the requisite fees.

(Related story: Thika Plans to Create Database for bodaboda, Tuktuk Tracking.)

“With this body in place, we can account for every tuktuk operator within Thika Constituency. Any other new entrant into the market will have to join a Sacco within his area of operation and get keyed into our database. These logistics will assist us so much in maintaining discipline within the sector as well as in the fight against crime and insecurity,” he said.

The chairman said that plans were underway to register a fully-fledged Tuktuk Sacco that will help them regulate their operations, investment and insurance cover programmes.

Enoch Kimani, the brains behind this idea thanked area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina for donating a laptop for their operations.

He requested the MP to assist them to get an office where all their operations would be centred.

“We are also extending this idea to our brothers in the bodaboda business so that we can join hands and regulate the transport industry for the benefit of all. This will end us solve our frequent conflicts with them and eventually create more opportunities,” said Kimani.

Thika West DCC Douglas Mutai was elated with this new development saying that it would assist in busting crime in the area.

He challenged them to incorporate the bodaboda sector and come up with ways to streamline the sector.

Area MP challenged them to reorganise their structures so as to benefit more on the available business opportunities both in government and within the private sector.

He promised to open an office for them so as to ease their operations.

“I am challenging you to think outside the box. Think beyond driving or operating a tuktuk by diversifying your sources of income. My office will help you to register both as an organisation and as a Sacco,” said Wainaina.

He also promised to organise workshops for all registered organisations and offer free driving courses for their members.

“Above all, I have decided that all tenders and contracts from my CDF office will be given to groups within Thika Town Constituency. So, go put your houses in order and come apply for tenders to build schools and other facilities within the security sector,” he told them.

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