First Lady Rachel Ruto has called for concerted efforts aimed at enhancing cyclist safety on the roads.
Speaking on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, during a cycle ride from State House to Gigiri in Nairobi for the second session of the UN-Habitat Assembly, Rachel stressed the significant impact that implementing such a measure would have in reducing the alarming number of cycling-related fatalities.
"This is why my office advocates for safe riding, with the expectation that motorists respect cyclists and cyclists respect motorists. Unfortunately, too many cyclists have lost their lives on our roads. When we consider the challenges that cyclists face while riding on our roads, we can only express gratitude every time we arrive home safely," she said.
The ride organised by Mama Cycling Group not only aimed to create awareness about the numerous benefits of cycling but also played a crucial role in promoting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
At the same time, the initiative aimed to launch the Global Alliance of Cities for Road Safety, with the objective of promoting safe cycling and sustainable transport.
According to Rachel, cycling is an excellent form of exercise that offers various health benefits, including reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases and enhancing mental well-being.
As a result, she said, it aligns perfectly with SDG 3, which promotes good health and well-being.
Rachel further emphasised that cycling contributes to the achievement of SDG 11, which is centred around sustainable cities and communities.
She said as an efficient mode of transportation, cycling helps alleviate traffic congestion in urban areas, thereby supporting the creation of sustainable cities.
In addition, Rachel highlighted the correlation between cycling and SDG 13, which focuses on climate action.
She said cycling plays a significant role in the pursuit of the global climate goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Rachel emphasised that promoting cycling as an alternative to carbon-emitting vehicles, it not only contributes to mitigating climate change but also fosters a more sustainable future.
On 2nd June 2023, Rachel received a generous donation of 283 bikes from South Korea, with 155 of them being electric.
The purpose of the donation is to promote cycling as a healthy, affordable, and eco-friendly mode of transport.
Rachel said on her Twitter account that the plan is to distribute the bikes to both women and men in Kenya, enabling them to join a global community of cyclists.