MPIGI—Nile Breweries Limited (NBL) has launched a road safety campaign in which motorists countrywide will receive stickers warning them against driving after drinking.
The campaign dubbed Ondaba Road Safety initiative will raise awareness on road safety, support enforcement, and strengthen post-crash care interventions across the country, particularly along the Kampala—Masaka Highway, which has been identified to have a high fatality rate.
The campaign which started about two months back, it was officially launched on Friday November 18, 2022 at Mpigi Health Centre IV in Mpigi District along the Kampala Masaka Highway.
NBL also gave out reflective jackets to boda boda riders at the Mpigi Hospital Boda Boda Stage.
Mr. Onapito Ekomoloit, Legal & Corporate Affairs Director NBL said safe roads are critical to the health and well-being of road users across the globe.
“Ondaba Road Safety Campaign calls for road users to be accountable to each other for their road actions. It urges them to “see” each other on the road and stimulate discipline and courtesy hence reducing reckless driving, unsafe road behaviour and curbing road traffic crashes,” he added.
“Ondaba Road Safety Campaign under the theme, Mind My Life, Mind Your life, is timely as it is towards the end of the year when festival seasons begin, and there is an increase in movement, traffic and recklessness,” he added.
NBL also donated 2 shelter tents to the Traffic Police along the Kampala Masaka Highway to support enforcement.
The beer dealer also refurbished and equipped the Mpigi Health Center IV Accident and Emergency (A & E) Unit to support post-crash care.
The company has also donated a prosthetic leg to an accident victim Reagan Mugweri based in Njeru as part of the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic victims celebrated on Sunday November 20.
Dr. Juliet Nabbanja, the Assistant Commissioner Clinical Service, at the Ministry of Health, who represented the Minister of Health noted that the issue of road accidents remains a challenge to Uganda’s health sector that needed collective efforts from all stakeholders.
“Data from the AHSPR of 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 indicates that traffic injuries have contributed 45% of cases at Mulago National Referral Hospital and regional referrals from around the country. Its estimated that government spends Shs236m on treating a severely injured road traffic incident victims. As government, we are doubling our efforts to ensure that the number of road accidents are reduced, we however call upon all Ugandans to take personal responsibility to ensure they are safe on the road,” She said.
The RDC Mpigi district, Mr. Ssempala Kigozi while commenting on the refurbished Unit at Mpigi Health Centre IV asked government to upgrade the health centre to a full hospital.
“This health centre serves more people because of its strategic location, being on Kampala-Masaka Highway that is known to be a hot spot for road accidents. We have been requesting government to upgrade this from a health centre iv to a full hospital because its currently serving the same number of patients as other hospitals yet with minimal medical equipment and staffing,’ he said.
Mable Tomusange, the Managing Consultant at Consult Africa Usalama, the implementing partner for the Ondaba Road Safety Campaign revealed that awareness and training interventions will continue throughout the month of November and December.
“We shall be spreading Road Safety awareness on traditional media & social media and training Boda Boda cyclists along a chosen area on Kampala Masaka Highway on road safety and post-crash care as well as painting zebra crossings and modification of black spot areas as advised by our partners,” said Tomusange.
“Our statistics are alarming. As a country, we must prioritize road safety awareness as a sustainable annual national campaign; it is the only way that we will be able to address this challenge. The Ondaba Road safety campaign, in particular aims to create awareness on road safety and post-crush care killer syndrome that remains a neglected problem in Uganda,” she added.
The campaign is being done in collaboration with the Ministry of Works and Transport, Uganda National Roads Authority, the Emergency Medical Services department at the Ministry of Health, the
Uganda Police and Orthopaedic Society of Uganda.
Through the campaign, Nile Breweries will contribute to the recently launched National Road Safety Action Plan by Ministry Of Works to reduce road crash fatalities and injuries by 25 per cent between 2022 and 2026 and the United Nations’ global call to the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety to improve road safety by reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by at least 50% by 2030.
Uganda has one of the highest road crash fatalities in the East African region. According to Uganda Police Annual Crime Report 2021, there was an increase in road deaths by 14.9%, from 3,663 in 2020 to 4,159 in 2021, with over 12,000 people injured. Some contributing factors to road crashes in Uganda include over-speeding, reckless driving, and drunk driving.