By Barbra Anyait & David Mujuni
Road safety activist Joseph Beyanga commonly known as Joe Walker has underscored the need to rethink road transport and mobility for the well-being of people and future generations.
Addressing journalists ahead of the inaugural Kampala Hill to Hill Walk due on Saturday, June 17th, Beyanga observed that Kampala contains the busiest roads with heavy traffic and the largest population relies on walking to and from work and recreation.
He, however, says records indicate that pedestrians in Kampala sustain the most injuries in the districts that make up the Greater Kampala area.
According to Beyanga, encouraging investment in a culture that respects, protects, and acknowledges walking in co-existence with motorists and other forms of traffic will make it safer and contribute to a healthier community in the city.
“If we had a working public transport system that is reliable, then maybe many of us would not be driving and the roads would be less congested. But what do we have at the moment? A road infrastructure less than 20% is safe for all users. We are talking about pedestrians, cyclists, and everybody,” Beyanga said.
Expanding on the walk, Sarah Nalule, the Joe Walker Chief Coordinator noted that the Kampala Hill to Hill walk will be flagged off from Sheraton Hotel, Kampala at 6am. She says the group will have their first stop at Sankara Library in Bugoloobi at about 9am.
“So we’ll leave Sankara at about 9:45 and head to Lukuli through industrial area, it’s an interesting route. Then we’ll have our lunch in Lukuli at 1 O’clock and leave at about 2 O’clock,” Nalule said.
“We have three kinds of walks. We have the baby walk, which is a 15-kilometre walk, then we have the youth walk which is from Sheraton Kampala to Lukuli, and the walk for the mature [adult walk] which is a 45-kilometre walk. We intend to finish between five and six O’clock so spare your Saturday and get your comfortable shoes on,” she added.
Nalule urged interested individuals to log on to www.joewalker.org to register for the walk of their choice at no cost.
Beyanga says the Kampala Hill to Hill walk running under the theme “Safer Roads Saves Lives” is the shortest walking event that will cover 45 kilometres.
Joe Walker has previously held two walks; Kampala to Bushenyi (342 kilometres) and Kampala to Mbale (246) kilometres.