By Kabuye Ronald
As the country joins the rest of the world to commemorate the World Sustainable Transport day held under the theme: Developing socially inclusive transport infrastructure, various civil society organisations that include Hope for Victims of Traffic Accidents HOVITA, United Nations Association of Uganda (UNAU), The African Youth Leadership Development and Health (AYLDAH), Traffic Safety Awareness Organization Uganda Limited (TRASAD) and Africa Center for Media Excellence (ACME) have launched the child Shield Road Safety campaign as an initiative to reduce in deaths, injuries and other associated health challenges that affect children transported while seated on fuel tanks of the motorcycles in the country.
Rev. Evatt Mugarura, the executive director of The African Youth Leadership Development and Health (AYLDAH) said the practice has turned Ugandan child into a shield to motorcycle rider since they transport them on the top of a fuel tank in addition to loading three or more children on the same boda boda.
He thus called upon all stakeholders and the general public to respect children’s right to life, right to care, right to protection and right to safe mobility by participating in the campaign against all acts that risk the lives of the youngsters.
Rev. Evatt said the campaign is going to be conducted and implemented through engagements since it’s the easiest way to highlight the problems and solutions. Adding that they will also take the line of legal action for the undisciplined road users.
Winston Katushabe, the commissioner of transport in the ministry of transports and works applauded the campaign saying it will go far in promotion of road safety hence calling for unity and collaboration among stakeholders and the general public since road safety is a responsibility of every person.
In the same way, the representatives of the boda boda industry Uganda committed to advocating and sensitizing of their fellow cyclists to be disciplined and responsible road users.
According to the police annual crime report 2022, Uganda lost 650 children, the traffic police reports for the years 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 show that the country has lost 3,155 children below the age of 18 in Road clashes while 5949 sustained life threatening injuries.