New Vision (Kampala)

Uganda: Over 100 Children Admitted at Mulago Over Bodaboda Accidents

Photo: New Vision/File
Police in campain to curb road accidents.

Police statistics show that bodaboda accidents claim 500 people in Uganda every year while another 1200 get seriously injured.

Vision online brings you harrowing tales of children who have been victims of these accidents to the extent that the biggest national referral hospital, Mulago, set up a special ward to specifically treat such cases.

Over 100 children are bedridden at Mulago due to bodaboda accidents that occur while they are being taken to school.

Children speak out

Joan Naluggwa 6, a Top Class pupil of Salver Village at Wandegeya says she was involved in an accident while going to school when a bodaboda she was traveling on knocked another at Kaleerwe.

Annet Komimbo 7, a Top Class pupil at Makerere West Valley says she was heading home on a bodaboda after school when it had a head on collision with another. She sustained head injuries.

Elijah Kapule, only 2, was knocked by a bodaboda at the roadside and broke his leg as he rushed to welcome his elder siblings from school.

Abel Bukenya 6, a P.1 pupil of Omega Primary School and resident of Kabalagala was knocked by a bodaboda a few meters from home as he came from school.

Sharifa Nakato 10, who goes to school at Kayembe in Bweyogerere was was knocked by a runaway bodaboda as she crossed the road from school. She is being looked after by her mother, Florence Nakayiza, in hospital where she is bedridden.

Sharifa Nakato was hit by a runaway bodaboda

Avias Niwagaba 8, a Top class pupil at John Bosco Katende together with his sister Sanyu Tusiime 12, had been sent to buy milk when a bodaboda knocked them. Sanyu was not so lucky and died on spot.

Rachael Nakidde 6, a Middle class pupil at Masuuliita sustained severe head injuries when a bodaboda knocked her at the roadside and sped off.

Nakidde sustained severe head injuries when a runaway bodaboda hit her

Joel Sekatawa 6, of St. Francis Salaama was knocked by a bodaboda and broke his leg. His mother, Annet Nalwoga, says his leg will undergo gradual amputation till the age of 20.

Ssekatawa in hospital with his mother

These are just some of the many others admitted to Mulago over these accidents. Just between October and November over 100 children have been admitted to the ward with grave injuries!

The alarming situation has provoked the Works and Transport ministry to propose a law that bans children below 12 from using bodabodas.

Under the proposed law, motorcycles will also be required to bear two number plates since cyclists use the loophole of having one to 'hit and run'.

Godffrey Ssevuma was also hit by a bodaboda that broke his leg.

Ronald Amanyire, the vehicle inspector Works and Transport ministry, says the law is intended to curb the escalating cases of motorcycle accidents.

Paul Kwamusi, a public transport consultant at the ministry says last year over 3,279 caused accidents killing 570 people. Others lost limbs and sustained other injuries.

Joshua Biyinzika is also nursing a broken leg due to a bodaboda accident.

Police commences operation

The Kampala metropolitan traffic Police boss, Lawrence Niwabiine, announced that they are embarking on an operation to arrest bodaboda cyclists carrying children to school especially those who pile them like luggage.

Niwabiine says some bodaboda cyclists are criminals and because they ride recklessly to evade the Police they end up causing accidents.

A law that will ban carrying children under 12 on bodabodas is in offing.

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