Last week, the first Kampala road safety annual report was launched with Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) leadership committing to continue making the city roads safer for everyone.
The report developed by KCCA with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS) highlights findings on deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes in Kampala from 2019 to 2020.
According to the report there was a 25% reduction in fatalities in 2020 from 315 in 2019 to 236 deaths in 2020.
Similarly, there was a 36% decrease in reported crashes in 2020 compared to the previous year. This was partly attributed to the Covid-19 restrictions.
Majority of the people killed in these accidents were vulnerable road users, including pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists who accounted for 92% and 94% of reported deaths in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Motorcyclists alone accounted for 48% and 46% of the deaths in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
During the launch, the KCCA executive director Dorothy Kisaka revealed that such statistics are distressing and urged stakeholders to come together to change the situation.
She revealed that delayed emergency care to accident victims most times results in loss of precious lives.
“At KCCA we are moving towards starting an Emergency Response Unit to work in collaboration with police and respond to road accidents and fire outbreaks and other crises in a timely manner to save lives,” Kisaka said.
Police’s Director of Traffic and Road Safety Lawrence Nuwabiine said the report findings will help inform traffic police operations and planning.
“We are the people who pick victims and dead bodies from the roads and we are overwhelmed, but when I hear the ED coming out to have a well-equipped rapid emergency response unit, I feel relieved,” Nuwabiine said.
Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago called for improvement of the road infrastructure and making them safer for all road users.
“I can’t ride a bicycle in Kampala, I fear the roads. We need to pay attention to our roads in order to reduce road crashes,” Lukwago said.