Driving a rickshaw in Sudan is becoming more of a futile endeavor due to the high fuel and spare parts cost.
AlTaghyeer: Abdullah Brer
The rickshaw driving profession that provides living for many young Sudanese people is due to suffer from the economic conditions in the country that are making passengers more reluctant to acquire the services of a rickshaw.
The three-wheeled vehicle is a popular choice for transport for all Sudanese people to its comfort and ease of acquiring a rickshaw’s services.
Recently however, citizens have resorted to public transportation in favor of rickshaws due to the high cost associated with increased fuel prices.
Amin Damba, a rickshaw driver, sees that driving the tuk-tuk has become the preferred occupation for young people of all ages regardless of educational background.
Damba added that driving the rickshaw includes expenses for all people involved, including the driver, the mechanic, the maintenance shops, the blacksmith, etc…
He cautioned that the entire system was affected by the current economic crisis which has brought about decline in income for everyone involved with rickshaws, and stressed that it’s more likely to spend more than earn anything.
The rickshaw driver also said that rickshaws almost do not generate any income for the driver, and said that income “almost only covers daily expenses only.”
For his part, Walid Sheikh Idris, who runs a rickshaw spare parts shop, believes that working during the economic crisis is futile.
Walid, better known by his nickname “Kabros”, said that it was “ridiculous to have goods worth one million Sudanese pounds and not generate more than fifty thousand pounds in profit.”
Sheikh Idris pointed out that the debts greatly affected his work, and that “demand for spare parts is low, and the instability of prices and steady increases have complicated the profession.”
Jawdat Al-Tom, a mechanic, considered that the tuk-tuk’s services have become less in demand, which contributed to the decline in the need for maintenance.
“The price of spare parts has a significant impact, and the driver is now trying to preserve spare parts as much as possible and not replace them unless he is forced to.”
Jawdat sees that maintaining rickshaws for a living does not have any future because it does not provide a decent income, due to economic inflation.