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

+256 782 602061


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Day Eight: We’re almost there 

The #JoeWalker team lifted off from Kiregesa Primary School where we camped for the night and we are now in Mahagwe, hopefully our last resting point before we dock at our destination.

From Kiregesa as you descend down into the valley, you can’t avoid seeing the dangerous sharp corner and what looks like a bit of narrow road. Locals and doctors at Kyenjojo District hospital say many have lost their lives there.
We trudged into Kyenjojo town, where we were welcomed by S3 students of Kyenjojo SS (they all reminded me of our daughter who is also in S3.) And we proceeded together to their school after a simple march through town for a brief chat on road safety.

Their knowledge of road safety made me ask myself if I have done enough to teach our daughters about it. Children are the biggest victims of road crashes. Teach them when they’re still young, be their role model as you drive them to school.

From Kyenjojo town we hit Ngenzi where we met my longtime workmate and friend Patrick Kamara with locals on the roadside. They had sad stories to tell; what looks like a joy and thrill for motorists is tears for residents.

One man narrated losing two brothers including his twin. Some have been driven to believe that spot is haunted. Lo and behold, while we were still talking, we witnessed a case of reckless driving of a government vehicle overtaking in a corner, blind to an oncoming car. Who will save us from this madness?

Onwards we trekked on and in Nyarushozi just before Kaihura, we met Traffic Police at their checkpoint. They echoed what has become their soundtrack – political interference in their enforcement. For how long will we tolerate this impunity as we continue to lose our people to road crashes?! Why do you think people with “connections” should abuse and operate above the law?

All this time I noticed that the road signs have been totally vandalized and it’s just poles standing bare, with no signage. This is a fairly new road, who is stealing the signage and why doesn’t the government make this thuggery expensive? Has the government given up and let crime thrive?
We rolled on under the scorching heat while taking in the beauty of Tooro only to be rudely interrupted by two young men riding very fast and entering the road without checking for oncoming traffic and who were almost crashed by a speeding bus. When we tried interacting with them after that narrow escape, we found that they were very drunk. It was only 3pm.

These guys situation reminded of another driver who almost rammed into us in Kyegegwa while we were painting a zebra crossing; the lamentations of market vendors in Mubende; and the many times we heard from Traffic Police about the issue of drunk driving.
As my mind was still running on, we arrived at a more refreshing point, King Oyo’s Model farm. The quick tour around the farm and demonstration by the Farm Manager Wilson Ajuna was a refreshing reminder that there’s more we can do to make our lives better.

For now I need to look for food and get ready for hopefully the homestretch of the #JoeWalker Kampala to Fort Portal road safety awareness walk.