The Observer (Kampala)

21 July 2013

Uganda: KCCA, UNRA Stunned By Road Sign Thefts

KCCA and the Uganda National Roads Authority, (UNRA) are fighting a new illegality on the roads, the grand theft of aluminum signposts that is costing billions of shillings to replace.

Many roads, especially the newly-built highways have been stripped of road signage, UNRA has revealed.

UNRA Spokesman Dan Alinange said in a recent interview, that at least Shs 4bn had been spent in the last four years to replace the road signs.

Both UNRA and KCCA are exploring ways of curbing the escalating crime. KCCA Spokesman Peter Kaujju said the authority was considering vigorously sensitising people on the benefits of road signs and urging the public to be on the lookout for signpost thieves.

KCCA and UNRA are also exploring the use of alternative materials in making road signs. Some, Kaujju said, are already being tested in laboratories. Fibre has of recent been used to make some road signs because it is less marketable than aluminum.

UNRA is also looking at filling the stand posts of aluminum signs with concrete so that they are difficult to cut. Most of the stolen road signs end up in metal fabrication facilities where they are turned into nails or galvanised sheets.

Without road signs, the risk of accidents is high. Drivers claim they are compelled to pay fines yet they are not at fault. For instance, some have been fined for parking in places supposed to have the "No parking" sign.

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