A United Nations special report released yesterday about safety on Ugandan roads has shown that at least 10 people die daily on Kampala roads due to boda boda accidents.
Ms Rosa Malango, the UN resident coordinator, said this is the highest rate of road traffic accidents in East Africa and is costing the country Shs4.4 trillion annually.
"This review comes at a timely time. Road safety in Uganda is a serious challenge, but has not attracted the attention it deserves. Uganda loses ten people per day the highest in East Africa, meaning we are losing children and members of the workforce estimated at Shs4.4 trillion, which is five per cent of the GDP," she said.
While receiving the report yesterday, Transport State Minister Aggrey Bagiire said government requested the UN to conduct an independent study into the cause of rampant accidents on Ugandan roads.
Some of the findings point to lack of vehicle inspection centers, a dormant road safety council, ill-trained drivers, unaudited road construction and procurement of the projects, lack of accurate data on accidents as some of the factors causing the mayhem.
"When I joined this ministry, I wanted to abandon the appointment because I would be called in the middle of the night to find out details about terrible accidents. But we have tried and we are moving ahead," he said.
Mr Bagiire highlighted registration and licensing of all bus drivers, transfer of buses from the city centre, abolition of sugarcane loaded trucks on the Jinja-Kampala highway and high taxes imposed on used vehicles as some of the measures which were undertaken to curb the deaths.
"We finished with the monsters - the bus drivers - and next are taxi drivers who we're going to register and license. We want all vehicles on our roads inspected and this is where we want Parliament to assist us," he said.
While releasing the report, Jean Todt, the UN Secretary General's special envoy on road safety, said Uganda and Cameron were chosen to assist in taking stock to strengthen road safety. He said Uganda has all it takes to scale up efforts to reduce road fatalities.
"We know that the situation is challenging because one death alone is already too bad. We need to revise the 1998 Road Safety and Road Safety Council Act," he said.
He cited other areas to be addressed to reduce accidents as road crush data collection, periodic motor vehicle inspection, national drivers training curriculum, and manual road safety audit, as well as enforcement of the regulatory framework.