By John Vianney Ahumuza
Uganda has recently experienced rapid urbanisation. The country's captial Kampala, for instance, has recorded about approximately four million people during the day and about half this number during the night.
This urban situation has equally stimulated high investments in social services especially schools at all levels.
However, free movements of school children before and after school alongside the numerous urban centre roads is and continues to be a nightmare and death trap!
Speeding vehicles and motorcycles commonly known as bodabodas have often become a prey to these youngsters depriving the nation of a youthful population. This has normally been attributed to narrow roads with no provision for non-motorised transport facilities.
It is not a surprise to witness children walking on road reserve water gutters. Crossing from one side of the road to the other too remains a challenge.
Most areas in urban centres lack facilities such as zebra crossings. Even where such facilities seem to exist like at Uganda Post Office in Kampala, the motorcyclists and car drivers rarely respect pedestrians crossing such spots.
I would advise that;
- In view of establishing modern road infrastructures, the Government should provide for non-motorised transport in all her road designs especially in urban areas.
- Strict laws and regulations must be enforced concerning motorcyclists and drivers who violate traffic rules like on zebra crossings.
- More sensitisation by the ministry of education, traffic police and other stakeholders dealing in transport should be emphasized like encouraging school children and other pedestrians to walk on the right hand side of roads.
- It is possible to minimise road accidents if all stakeholders contributed to the realisation of road safety campaigns. This is a gap organization dealing in transport like Civil Society Coalition on Transport continues to fill.
The writer is a lecturer, Uganda Christian University Mukono