I am Joe Walker aka Joseph Beyanga, a road safety enthusiast raising awareness about saving lives on the road.

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A dive into day 3 of Kampala – Fort Portal trek

By Joe Walker 

Day three of the #JoeWalker Kampala to Fort Portal road safety awareness walk lifted off at Mityana at 7:26am where we headed to Kyakatebe. The weather has been merciful to us and so far every day, there has been some light rain which provides a good environment to walk in. We have so far been saved the heat that threatened to be present. We zoomed out of Mityana town to Naama. The road under construction is interesting; very wide with a fast double lane in the middle and two side lanes to serve town traffic, cyclists and pedestrians. If that’s the design, it will greatly ease traffic congestion and save lives – that’s hoping the lanes are respected and proper pedestrian crosswalks installed.

Our first engagement of the day was with the boda boda riders at Naama, interesting young men who honestly put money ahead of their life. In all their decisions it’s money first; they say there is no money to buy helmets, reflector jackets or even bother acquiring a rider’s license. When they load 3 passengers, it’s all about how much money they can make, not how many people they will safely take to their destinations. Similar sentiments were echoed by the riders at Kigalaama.

As we descended towards Mpamujjugu swamp, we were captivated by nature’s cool breeze, fresh air and the greenery. But the residents and communities have different vibes; they’re tired of road crashes on that stretch. Motorists around this stretch are notorious for speeding, losing control and falling into the swamp. The residents say if the government can’t deploy police for enforcement at least they should install a camera to capture the road incidents and maybe guard rails should be placed to protect motorists from crashing into the swamp.

After a lunch break at Myanzi, we resumed our trek towards Kyakatebe. This is the worst 17km I have ever walked – fine white dust, loose stones, no place for pedestrians to walk. We had to fight with bodas for a place to put our feet on the small path on the sides. I know the road is under construction but no way. Well, this the stretch of the highway that has been under construction for so long; even the residents don’t seem to remember if the works started before the Covid19 pandemic or not. Whatever the story, we met 3 trucks that had broken down along here and all the drivers were pointing to the condition of the road. I believe this section can be made motorable as the construction goes on.

Anyway we braved the elements and made it across, with bruised joints, but the spirits are still high and we pray the muscles reset and tomorrow morning we are able to attack the road again and head towards Mubende.

Tonight the only place to lay our heads in Kyakatebe is in a tent at a public school.