Vivo Energy Rwanda, a company that distributes and markets Shell and Engen-branded fuels and lubricants to retail and commercial customers in Rwanda, has pledged 5000 litres of fuel to taxi moto operators across the country.
The move follows the ease of restrictions announced by the government on the movement of passenger-service motorcycles, among other measures announced on June 3, after about three months out of service.
The company also provided free face masks to operators in a bid to make sure that they are protected while on the road.
Sarah Doukoure, the Managing Director of Vivo Energy Rwanda, said their commitment is part of FuelMyMoto, an initiative by the petroleum firm, which targets to support every taxi-moto operator with fuel to help them bounce back from the coronavirus crisis so they can take care of their families.
“They (motorcyclists) have spent about three months without moving and we know that it’s when they move that they make a living. We came up with this initiative to see how we can support them in a way that they can normalize their lives as quick as possible considering that their only source of livelihood was put on hold yet, they have families to take care of,”Doukoure said.
Although everyone was affected in one way or another, she said, the taxi-moto operators were among the most affected during this situation and are hence the most in need of support today compared to other public transport operators.
Doukoure called on individuals, corporate companies, SMEs, and NGOs to join the FuelMyMoto initiative so the support can reach a bigger number of beneficiaries.
“We cannot do this on our own as there are over 45,000 motorists doing taxi-moto transport in the country who need this assistance. We therefore need more partners to join this noble cause because every litre counts,” she added.
Through this initiative, each beneficiary gets five litres of fuel and the filling is being done at Engen Petrol stations nationwide.
The initiative starts with taxi moto operators who are most in need and will reach more motorists as more partners join in.
Motorists represent 20 per cent of the company’s total volume of fuel consumption through the stations, according to Doukoure.
Daniel Ngarambe, the president of Motorcycle Federation (FERWACOTAMO) said the support comes at a time motorists were struggling to resume their business.
“Motorists are back in business but many had no financial foundation. It is a good gesture to see our partners showing support to taxi-moto operators affected by this crisis to help them get back to their feet. We need them to abide to the precautionary measures to prevent the public from the spread of Coronavirus,” he said.
Pierre Harerimana, one of the taxi-moto operators who benefited from the initiative said the support is going to help him bounce back to business so he can take care of his family.
“We stayed home for a long time and we are happy to be back. This support is a big boost to us because some of us were struggling to load even a litre of fuel and, with this support, there is hope that we are going to get out of the situation little by little,” Harerimana said.
The funds can be donated on a dedicated FuelMyMoto mobile money wallet via USSD payments which will be loaded on fuel cards which will then be dispatched to all Engen Petrol stations nationwide.
People can pledge their donations either in fuel or cash using the hashtag FuelMyMoto on Twitter or drop off the support to the nearest Engen Petrol Stations countrywide or even using Mobile Money, MoMoPay Code 222 222. (Dial *182*8*1*222222*Amount# and follow prompts).Follow https://twitter.com/@Eddie_250