GRSP ROUND 17 PROJECT COMPLETED
The two year-long Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP) Project had its final activity covered yesterday at Hotel Africana. The project, whose focus was on strengthening helmet use and its regulations, as well as drink driving regulations saw us meet with different stakeholders involved in the road safety fraternity. Among the many people we had joint activities with were the officers from our mother ministry- Ministry of Works and Transport, officers from the Uganda Police Force, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Trade, members of the Boda Boda Association of Uganda among others.
During this completion workshop, Acidri Paskal- the Traffic and Road Safety Officer from the Boda Boda industry noted that there is plenty of disrespect on the road by fellow road users who feel more important than others hence fueling the bad behavior on the road and leading to road crashes.
In a discussion that was held during the workshop, Ssemwanga Brian- an intern with URRENO from Hasselt University in Belgium painfully expressed how seeing multiple children without helmets on one bodaboda/motorcycle every morning and evening frustrates his soul. He further encouraged that we advocate for children’s helmets because they too are in harm’s way. Brian emphasised that good road use culture should be encouraged from childhood so that the children can carry on such a practice into their adulthood.
Angella Tumuhairwe, the other intern from the same university also noted that only 6% of passengers in the 5 divisions of Uganda wear helmets. She questioned why the enforcement applied to the riders when it comes to the wearing of helmets is not the same passed on to passengers while they are in transit as well. This is because the passengers too are in danger in case a road crash occurs. She further pointed out the need for riding schools since most cyclists learn from their friends and hit the road without any knowledge of road traffic rules and licensing policies.
In response to Angella’s concern SSP Bettina Nalugo informed members that Ministry of Works and Transport has licensed training schools for Bodaboda riders and that there are no express fines for passengers in the law and that is why enforcement of them wearing helmets still has a long way to go before its implementation.
Our Executive Director- Fred Tumwine Nkuruho in his remarks acknowledged how majority of the project objectives have been successfully accomplished with the help of various stakeholders who have actively been involved. Among the key highlights of the project is the creation of a coalition with other GRSP funded NGOs under the name of Road Safety Advocacy Coalition Uganda- ROSACU.
Fred further highlighted the need for Government to invest more in road safety so that once these amendments to the regulations that we have been advocating for are passed, we as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) can support through sensitization and awareness raising. This will in return have a high potential of reducing our road carnage situation tremendously as a country.
The day’s Guest of Honor- Edward Kizito who was representing the Commissioner Transport Regulation and Safety, congratulated the URRENO team upon the successful completion of the project. He further extended his appreciation to GRSP and Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) for funding the implementation of such important advocacies within the country. Edward acknowledged the work that CSOs are putting in to address the 5 risk factors attached to road safety and expressed the ministry’s commitment to offer support in any way deemed fit whenever need arises within the ministry’s ability.
Judith Karara, a Senior Road Safety Officer from the Ministry of Works and Transport, also doubled as our direct contact person with the ministry throughout the project implementation. In her remarks, she appreciated URRENO for the tireless efforts put in to see that our road safety situation gets better as the days go by through reviewing of the regulations. She further noted that on the 28th of October 2022, the ministry handed over all the regulations pending approval to the Solicitor General and once approval from this office is confirmed, the new regulations shall be put in place for implementation.
In his project completion report presentation, Cuthbert Isingoma- the project team leader shared highlights of the milestones that have been achieved in the two years of running this particular project. He appreciated individually all the stakeholders that have supported the successful completion of this project. Attached below is the presentation from the project completion workshop.GHAI, Global Health Advocacy Incubator, Global Road Safety Partnership, GRSP, Ministry of Works and Transport, ROSACU