Botswana Business Coalition On AIDs (BBCA) in partnership with NAHPA and Gaborone Taxi Association recently launched a ‘Condoms In a Taxi’ project Cresta President Hotel. The main objective of the launch was to roll out condom distribution to taxis, so that the public can easily access them at their convenience.
When giving an Overview of the Project BBCA Chief Executive Officer Mr Frank Phatshwane could not hide his excitement to be launching the ‘Condoms in a Taxi’ project which was long overdue. He said for the longest time there was an outcry by Private Sector due to shortage of condom supply at their workplace, both at district and national level. Mr Phatshwane said following NCONGO which is their sister NGO, introducing condoms in a taxi in Maun which was then led by Mr Monametsi Sokwe, they decided to bring the initiative to Gaborone. He noted that they agreed to pilot ‘condoms in taxi’ project in Gaborone beginning with one taxi before engaging others, then later roll it to Mahalapye and Francistown before proceeding to other areas with resources permitting.
When giving a Key Note address and an update on the Nation Condom Programming, NAHPA Acting Coordinator Mr Robert Selato challenged everyone to take responsibility for their own health and the health of others. He further commended Gaborone Taxi Association saying they were heroes for making a difference in their communities. NAHPA Acting Coordinator said this was a good initiative which needed to be rolled out to the rest of the country because they realized that condoms were only accessed at health facilities during the day or working hours.
“It is important to have condoms distributed through Taxis because they are now available at any time and are easily accessible to clients who knock off late. However, these distribution comes with a huge responsibility of safe keeping and great customer service without any judgement. As taxi drivers you are now assuming the role of leadership in fighting HIV/AIDS and condom distribution, therefore, I urge you to be parents and responsible enough to take care of the condoms as they are government properties and are not for sale”, pleaded Mr Selato.
For his part, Gaborone Taxi Association Chairman Mr Tlhomelang thanked BBCA and NAHPA for choosing them as key strategic partners to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS. He acknowledged that condoms and pouches were government properties, hence the need to care for and use them appropriately. Mr Tlhomelang revealed that their relationship with BBCA dates far back when they used to be given condoms specifically as taxi drivers, and encouraged fellow taxi drivers to continue with the same spirit of servicing their customers with love and respect when distributing the condoms.