Over 100 die on roads, in fire in 5 days; a grim statistic as Uganda reopens economy
At least 94 people died in road accidents alone in just five days between January 10 and 15. The Traffic Police Department has revealed.
The alarming statistic regarding needless loss of lives in the first two weeks of 2022 is not complete if one is to consider that many more people have died due to fire and other avoidable incidents that have affected several families across the country since the President ordered the relaxation in movement and social gathering restrictions.
A statement by Faridah Nampiima, the Traffic Police Spokesperson, 444 people were involved in road accidents during the five day period, 94 of them going on to lose their lives. She said that nearly 10,000 drivers were arrested for either reckless driving, driving very old vehicles (DMCs), overspending and not wearing seat belts among other mistakes.
Real lives beyond the figures
In one of the incidents, the people of Lira on Monday January 10, were visited by grief when a Fuso Truck Reg.UBJ 354G that was carrying market traders overturned at Alik Pot along the Lira-Abako road in Lira district.
According to Aswa region police spokesperson Patrick Okema, seven people, mostly traders who were moving in the truck with their merchandise, were killed while 19 others sustained serious injuries.
From Lira, the Cruel hand of death snatched four young people in Buikwe district at Najjembe on the Kampala-Jinja highway. The deceased were aged between 1 and 23 years.
Police said a heavily loaded Tata lorry Registration UAX 660C that was carrying cement on its way from Jinja side towards Kampala, knocked five people killing four of them instantly.
Police said the driver of the Tata lorry knocked the five pedestrians while trying
to avoid a head-on collision with a Taxi that was trying to overtake.
The driver of the Tata lorry has since gone into hiding.
Someone has said that most road accidents in Uganda are not accidents but rather mistakes. IT turns out road-related mistakes are not the only ones costing lives. Fires arising out of negligence are likely another major area of laxity that is costing lives, as it appears was the case with the fire that gutted New Crest of Kibedi Day and Boarding primary school in Kawempe last Saturday.
Although investigations are still ongoing, police have already charged three teachers with cases relating to causing the death of the children at New Crest at Kibedi Jr. School.
Kampala metropolitan police spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire laid the blame over the deaths of the kids on the school managers who chose to keep quiet and did not alert the police to intervene to stop the inferno.
A second school fire on the same day, killed a primary four child at St. John’s Primary School in Kyotera.
Schools were not the only places that burned. Hima Cement factory near Kasese town is still mourning the loss of three of its workers who died in a ball of fire that gutted the factory on Saturday.
Reliable sources say the fire was likely sparked off by welders who were working near a light diesel tank.