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

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Day Seven: Joe Walker celebrates birthday, highlights road safety concerns

By Joe Walker

Guys it’s day seven of the #JoeWalker Kampala to Fort Portal road safety awareness walk.

We set off from Kyegegwa at 6:50am, and at 7:18pm, we were at our campsite, 47km from the start. The actual distance is 45km but I added an extra 2 special kilometers to make 47 to celebrate my 47th birthday.

One of the things that stands out today on our Kyegegwa to Kiregesa walk is that drivers have made that Miryante stretch a black spot that needs serious attention because of the speeding, racing and reckless overtaking. The road markings have long faded, the signage is intermittent.

Another issue that needs attention is broken-down trucks abandoned on the road with no proper safety signs. From Mityana to where we are, the broken trucks abandoned on the road seem to be a very frequent occurrence and only on a few occasions will you see them with proper safety precautions. Those few truck owners will drop a few branches to alert oncoming vehicles. I wonder what happened to that Minister’s directive on towing them off the road. They’re a menace and need to be dealt with before they claim lives.

Just like most of Uganda, this area also has many upcoming urban centres and neither the road design nor signage is coping up with these new developments. For example, just before Rwibaale, there’s a sign indicating the speed limit as 70km for the next 10km. Less than 500 metres ahead is a buzzing trading centre with lots of mixed traffic and a highway design for a road.

After Rwibaale you enter into, a cool 10km through the nature’s best gift to walkers – a cool scenic beautiful Matiri Forest. The corners, the trees, the breeze….if you’ve never had a walk through a forest, please try Matiri.

As we wound up the day, the walkers threw a surprise birthday “party” laced with beautiful heartfelt messages, each of them with a personal note. I am still speechless. Thanks guys for the love and support. #JoeWalker team, you’re 5-Star rock stars.