If you have travelled to parts of Kenya, Tanzania and Somalia, chances are that you have taken a ride in a three-wheeled motorized form of transport Tuk-Tuk or auto-rickshaws.
This form of transportation is taking root in some of Kampala’s suburbs especially Kisenyi with a big community of Somali refugees.
Kampala Minister, Betty Kamya had banned their use last year but importation is increasing by the day. Tuk-Tuk are perceived to be safer compared to Boda Boda.
Tuk-Tuk are are said to be safer and more convenient for female travelers and the elderly. They are being embraced by the locals in Kinsenyi too.
On a sunny afternoon, Abbey Kigongo is seated in a Tuk-Tuk waiting for passengers along Musajja Alumbwa Road says they are liked because of their safety.
He says unlike the two wheeled Boda Boda, Tuk-Tuk have also become a preferred form of transport for the elderly.
The number of Tuk-Tuk is increasing by day in Kisenyi. Abbey Kigongo who also doubles as chairperson of the Tuk-Tuk Owners and Operator’s Cooperatives says there are over one hundred of them.
They have become another form of employment for youthful locals, Somali refugees and persons living with disabilities in Kisenyi.
Like many parts of Kampala, gridlock prevails in Kisenyi streets. Abdul Nasser Gedi, a Somali refugee living in Kisenyi has just acquired a red Tuk-Tuk for self-employment.
A number of Tuk-Tuk passengers explained why they have fallen in love with the three-wheeler cycles previously common in Asian countries.
But these cycles have not been fully embraced. Abbey Kigongo says they are being resisted by boda boda and commuter taxi operators fearing competition.
Kigongo notes that the people operating the Tuk-Tuk in Kampala face challenges. He explains that they are currently operating illegally given the fact that government has not issued them a Passenger Service Vehicle(PSV) License.
While rick-show cycles have been received with skepticism in parts of Kampala, they have penetrated even more developed cities like London.