Uganda: Save us On Our Roads Now, No Ugandan Has a Reserve Life

As leaders in our various capacities, we shouldn’t stop or shy away from discussing this human life threatening subject of the ongoing and unabatting road carnage on our roads.

As we speak , it is reported by the Traffic Department of Uganda Police Force that in just a span of only a week from the 10th to 17th of July a total of 100 precious lives of Ugandans have been claimed and still counting while 324 victims sustained injuries.

In the most recent accident that happened on the Kagadi road on Sunday, July 16, the death toll has risen to 22 lives lost.

Surely, as a country and as responsible leaders we can’t simply continue with the counting of lives that have perished in a particular accident on a certain road. These Ugandans that are perishing on our roads are not mere numbers. These are human lives! These are accidents that could have been avoided.

Our people are perishing in accidents that could have also probably claimed anyone of us because we are actually potential victims too. Many of us are only still being protected by the merciful providence of our creator.

Therefore, the issue of road carnage is such a serious issue that requires each one of us as leaders, road users and citizens to wake up from our induced slumber and be able to candidly discuss ways in which this monster can be arrested.

We have lost too many dear lives on our roads. How many more lives need to be lost in order for this killer monster to find its way on our national prioritized intervention list?

It is conventional wisdom to all of us that there can’t be progress when what you are trying to build is what is being knocked down or destroyed. The effort of building what can’t be sustained becomes futile.

It would be very revealing if the people in the Ministry of Finance could help and quantify the annual economic loss to this country on account of these accidents.

Certainly, these endless losses of human life, material assets in terms of merchandize and the vehicles themselves whenever an accident occurs speak volumes to what the country loses annually.

This haemorrhage shouldn’t be allowed to continue as if there is reserve life for Ugandans!

Many people have come out to suggest ways in which the current problem on our roads can be addressed.

The Speaker of Parliament last week came out to call on the Traffic Police, Uganda Road Authority and UNRA to work on towing away all the faulty vehicles that get stuck on the roads. This move must be commended and we hope that the concerned agencies will this time round seriously work on the implementation of this recommendation without again resorting to making excuses or playing the blame game.

However, since we all know that the causes of road carnage are many and various, there is need for honest and candid discussion on the possible interventions that need to be undertaken to address the problem.

We must be cognizant of the fact that human life is precious and very expensive, and thus in coming up with interventions to address the issue, we must be ready to undertake painful and probably equally expensive decisions.

Knowing the current constraints of our budgetary resource envelope, we probably need to be considering resorting to approaching our Development Partners to borrow us some substantial amount of money for the specific purpose of addressing the issue of unrelenting carnage on our roads.

Certainly, this proposal sounds misplaced particularly in a time when we are all calling on government to reign in on it’s excessive borrowing appetite.

What must be admitted however, is that in as much as it is utterly vital to restrain ourselves on our foreign borrowing spree, government will not and is not actually about to stop borrowing. What is very crucial here is to discern what the borrowed money actually ends up going to do!

Since it is no longer a secret that we have borrowed money to bail out the business undertakings of many of our enterprising investors in the country with a purpose of seeking to give them new lease of business life, we shouldn’t be shy at the notion of borrowing money in order to reduce on the hemorrhage that daunts us and is making our roads death traps.

Some of the interventions that could go a long way in making our roads safer include;