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The hazards of using motorbikes by RDAA in project implementations in Western Equatoria State

When working on humanitarian interventions in harder to reach areas in Western Equatoria, the use of a motorbike is the most convenient. The benefit of using a motorbike is its flexibility and easy maintenance, that is why people in Western Equatoria where good roads are not available, prefer the use of motorcycles

RDAA has a long history of offering humanitarian relief to the people who need it most and this entails operating in the most difficult to reach places in a very difficult terrain that involves the use of motorbikes.

Mr Kango Wilson RDAA’s field officer in the WFP project in Maridi ready with his motorbike to conduct field extension services to the flood victims in Maridi

Despite its convenience as a means of transport, we cannot deny the fact that a motorbike is the most dangerous overland transport. Motorbike lacks personal safety for the users. Any time there is an accident, the motorbike operator has no visible object that can protect them in such times.

It exposes the user to severe weather conditions such as rain, heat, wind, dust and insects. Sticks, dirt, and even gravel can be difficult to handle, gravel kills your grip, causing your bike to behave unpredictably thereby causing a wreck.

 But the worst road obstacle is riding a motorbike in rain this is pretty miserable. You usually get soaked, splashed with water and one is often forced to ride through rivers.

RDAA field officer Mr. Gimiko riding through a river on the way to Naandi from Ezo so even with the motor bike it does not get any easier to work in this region

The roads get slicker and visibility get reduced which is much more dangerous. In fact the risk associated with the use of motorbikes cannot be overemphasized particularly riding on rough roads is even of a greater risk.

This explains why road accidents involving motorbikes are always serious if not fatal. Many lives have been lost through accidents while others have sustained permanent injuries caused by motorbike accidents.

One of RDAA’s field officer who almost lost a leg in a motorbike accident in one of the rough terrains on the way to Ezo County

RDAA field officers are faced with such hazards on a day to day basis on the course of their humanitarian work, and coupled with this is the constant breakdowns which are not only costly, but also take a lot of time needed for timely responses in the field. 

Below in the picture is one of RDAA’s motorbike undergoing a major repair in Yambio, this does not only waste time but is also costly. It is high time we looked for a way to overcome this.

To break the cycle of disasters and the costly repair that result from the dependence on the use of motorbikes, RDAA not only needs to enhance its local humanitarian capacities but must also change its mode of field transportation so as to continue responding in a timely, effective and appropriate way to the humanitarian needs in Western Equatoria.

Having appropriate means of transportation is often the missing link in empowering fledgling humanitarian organizations like RDAA which is in a post conflict and undeveloped country. And in order to avert the unfolding hazards and setbacks associated with the use of motorbikes. 

We wish to plead with our international partner, such as UNDP, TheEuropean Union (EU), OHCHR, UNMISS, UNOPS, UNHCR, USAID, JICA and other well-wishers to reinforce and complement our existing transport capacity with donations of four wheel Land Cruiser vehicles, in order to obtain maximum results in terms of scope, scale, and speed so as to maintain quality interventions that meet the international principles and standards for humanitarian aid.

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