By Patrick Jaramogi
Most roads in the country lack signs to guide users, which is contributing to the high carnage on the roads, a new study has said.
At least 3,000 road accident deaths are registered annually and over 70% of patients admitted in major urban hospitals are victims of road accidents, it said among other findings.
The study was carried out by NGOs, Friends of Roads- Uganda (FoR-U) and Uganda National NGO Forum under a project to advocate road safety and increase community awareness about the dangers on the road.
It is funded by the CrossRoads Challenge Fund, a 1million Pounds (sh4.5b) grant provided by donors.
It followed an outcry by communities in Mayuge and Bugiri over increasing slaughter on the roads. According to the study, contractors do not bother with good work which includes putting signs on roads and neither do those who contract them, to find out if proper work was done before commissioning those roads.
The findings, according to the NGOs, will be used to sensitise the people on their rights and how to demand for proper services.
At the launch of the report, Hassan Kalende the project coordinator, Uganda National Passengers Rights protection Association (UNAPARPA) said in the two districts over 80% of the roads had no observable signs.
He said programmes to empower communities to monitor roads and road safety have been put in place. Volunteers from the two districts have also been trained to use mobile phones to monitor road safety and report to authorities.
He said people can even demand that a contract be terminated if the contractor does not adhere to good standards of road construction.
“This has been an eye opener to the locals who are now in position to quiz district leaders on issues related to obstacles on roads, the width, quality, boundaries, road signs as well as damaged edges,” Kalende said.
He said this will also link communities with experts in the road sector to promote road safety, quality and maintenance.
The project which started in two districts is expected to be rolled out to the rest of the country.