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

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Day Five: Joe Walker, friends reach Mubende

By Joe Walker

With our eyes set on scaling 15km from Kyenda to Mubende before 9am, #JoeWalker Kampala to Fort Portal road safety awareness walk crew rolled the engines and hit the road at cruise control, at 6am. As the clouds started peeling off the skies for the sun to rise, we were halfway through our trek and Mubende right now is under our feet. We were set for engagements with boda boda riders, roadside market vendors, and then the municipality leaders.

Our first stop today was in Mubende Municipality. Our first engagement was with the Market Vendors Association. Oh boy, it was charged!

“We can no longer send our kids to the shops because you’re not sure they’ll return alive. Accidents are finishing our children,” lamented one vendor.

“UNRA should close their Mubende office, they’ve abandoned us to suffer with their contractors. This Mityana-Mubende road is finishing us. When they handed over the road to the contractor, did they also abdicate their responsibilities?” asked another one.

“Why has the government ignored our cries for too long? Aren’t we taxpayers? Aren’t they enjoying all the taxes we pay? Why are they not paying attention to our roads?” That was another one.

“We want speed humps at the market,” requested another one.

Most of these are the same issues we’ve heard since the start of the #JoeWalker Kampala to Fort Portal road safety walk, but the emotions here have so far been tihe highest.

As we tried to wrap up the conversation, a gentleman came rushing while limping, with his hand up: “Are drivers of government vehicles above the law? They drive badly and they’re making our life miserable. I’m a victim and I’m still fighting to recover,” he said.

I had no answers and it’s at this point that I hand this over to you Gen. Katumba and your team at UNRA.

We moved across the road to the newly constructed municipality roads where we painted 2 zebra crossings and then proceeded to the municipal council building for another engagement with the Mayor Hon. Eng. Innocent Ssekiziyivu and his council. Mubende is “in things”… The municipality is constructing many roads on top of the current 31km of tarmac.

We hope they stay true to their commitments to maintain the Zebra crossings painted and actually do many more around the town, identifying schools zones, put up relevant signage, ensure proper use of roads and promote mixed use of the roads. We also hope they put in place provisions to protect vulnerable road users, pedestrians, cyclists and the disabled. The mayor sounds like he means his word; he dedicated his two hours to us for road safety purposes.

We need more leaders to get involved and dedicate resources towards road safety and ensure to have each one #GetHomeSafe