Road safety advocate Mr Joseph Beyanga commonly known as Joe Walker is set honour road crash victims in a 60km walk slated for Sunday, November 19, 2023 (the UN Remembrance Day).
Speaking to journalists at Jubilee Allianz Insurance offices along Parliamentary Avenue in Kampala, Joe Walker noted that the world will pause for a moment to remember 1.35 million people killed in road crashes every year. In Uganda, that number was 4,534 in 2022.
He says the relay walk will see each six-member team covering 60km with each participant walking 10km.
“If you look at the situation of road safety, it’s a huge task and it will not take one person to fix it. It will take each one of us. The 60km represents the task of road safety, it is everyone’s responsibility,” he said.
He added: “Teams of six people can go on the Joe Walker website, www.joewalker.org, register your team, and together we’ll walk the 60km on Sunday.”
According to Dr. Peninah Kagina, a surgeon at Mulago Hospital, they decided to work closely with Joe Walker to rally the public towards reducing road crashes in the country.
She quoted a recent study conducted by the Parliamentary Committee on Health which indicates that injuries are costly to handle, requiring about Shs1.6 million to manage each patient per day.
“The daily average cost of managing each of these patients is about Shs1.6 million, that is before you go to surgery. The operative cost for each patient is about Shs10 million,” Dr Kagina said.
Mr Joshua Watwaluma, the brand manager for Monitor Publications lauded Joe Walker for his consistency in the road safety campaign, calling for collective efforts in enforcing discipline on the roads.
“It has become a common practice in Kampala, you see boda riders riding on the wrong side. Where does it start from? Government officials also drive on the wrong side… Someone driving on the wrong side will definitely hit a pedestrian or a boda person, so there’s collateral damage everywhere,” he said.
Joe Walker, partners, and participants will on Sunday draw attention to the devastating impact of road crashes while honoring the memories of those killed on Uganda’s roads. The group will set off from UMA show grounds, Lugogo in Kampa at 6am, according to Joe Walker.