Monday, April 23, 2012


The Government of Uganda should come up straight and discourage the use of Commercial motor cyclists in the country due to the danger into which the users are put. I am aware that in some countries those who are waiting for organs look to the accident victims more so the motor cycles which are sure cases. can Uganda stop encouraging boda's and instead see the evolution of buses which are safer. We cannot keep seeing the boda's as a source of employment for youth. William Kituuka Kiwanuka
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE TAKING A BODA BODA (COMMERCIAL MOTOR CYCLIST) IN UGANDA 25-March-2012 Boda-boda motorcycles are the fastest mode of transportation in Uganda. They are not only swift, but also reliable in times of emergencies - when vehicles get stuck in a jam or can't access certain areas, these motorcycles slither their way through with ease. However, they are also a leading cause of road accidents. So are boda-boda worth the risk? Despite their ease at snaking through difficult areas in Uganda, boda-boda use has become the leading cause of death and injuries on most roads. It has led the national referral hospital to set up a special ward to handle victims of motorbike-related accidents. Most boda-boda accidents stem from narrow roads getting congested with traffic. It is common in Uganda to see buses, taxis, trailers, lorries, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians competing for roads' thin spaces. Death traps Doctor Robert Wongoda, a general surgeon and clinical head in the accident and emergency unit at the Mulago National Referral Hospital, says motorbikes are the leading cause of injuries on the roads and have now surpassed motor vehicle accidents. Head and limb injuries are among the most common. “Head injuries are the commonest cause of death among motorbike riders and passengers,” he observes. Riders also risk being assaulted by criminals, especially at night. Thugs usually pose as passengers, and when the motorcycle reaches a dark corner, riders are hit with hammers and iron bars, cracking their skulls. Thugs then take off with the motorbike and the day’s earnings. Dr. Wangoda says assault injuries have also contributed to the death of many riders. “These injuries are preventable and would be less severe if riders wore crush helmets,” Dr. Wangoda says. A study conducted by the Injury Control Center Uganda (ICCU) at the national referral hospital shows a decline in the use of crush helmets. In 2011, 30.5 per cent of riders used helmets, while 0.8 per cent of helmet use was recorded among passengers. A previous study done by the ICCU and the World Health Organization in 2006 registered 42.6 per cent helmet use by riders and 0.26 per cent among passengers. According to Dr. Wangoda, two patients die on average every week at Mulago hospital as a result of boda-boda accidents. Between 10 and 20 victims of boda-boda accidents are received at Mulago hospital on a daily basis and 20 per cent of the victims are left disabled. The 2011 annual traffic report showed that a total of 1,762 serious accidents involving motorbikes occurred in the capital city during that year. Lawrence Niwabiine, the traffic commander of the Kampala Metropolitan Police, noted that 155 passengers perished in motorcycle-related accidents. “It is very rare to hear that a taxi in Kampala city has overturned and killed passengers," he told RFI. "The deaths we register in Kampala are related to boda-boda cycling and their behavior.” Pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users in Kampala, followed by commercial motorbike riders. “The boda-boda is the most unsafe means of transport in Kampala, and I would appeal to most road users to desist from using them in the city, especially at night,” Niwabiine warns.
Boda-Boda victims flood hospitals BODA BODA (COMMERCIAL MOTOR CYCLISTS) FLOOD HOSPITALS By CONAN BUSINGE and TADDEO BWAMBALE HOSPITALS in and around Kampala are increasingly admitting a higher number of motorcycle accident victims, according to a survey done by New Vision. Mulago hospital’s casualty ward, which has an official bed occupancy capacity of 52 beds, now admits about 150 patients everyday. The hospital receives about 300 to 500 accident victims everyday, according to Dr. Robert Wangoda, the head of Mulago’s surgery department. Wangoda said about half of these are victims of motorcycle accidents. The hospital is forced to leave many of the victims lying on verandahs and in the corridors. “There is an urgent need for more human resources, beds, stretchers and wheelchairs if the casualty ward is to perform effectively,” he said. Nsambya and Rubaga hospitals also have a high number of motorcycle accident victims compared to other road accident victims. At Rubaga hospital, five of every six accident patients admitted are victims of motorcycle accidents. At Nsambya hospital, most of the accident victims either fell off or were knocked by motorcycles. At Mulago Hospital, New Vision At Rubaga, another patient called Brian Kafeero was knocked by a speeding motorcycle last week. He sustained deep cuts on his head and arms. The cyclist fled the scene of the accident, leaving Kafeero in the middle of the road. At St. Patrick’s Ward in Nsambya Hospital, by yesterday, there were 14 casualties. Most of them were victims of motorcycle accidents. Charles Ariko, a journalist, has been hospitalised for over one year at Nsambya Hospital after falling off a motorcycle. He dislocated his backbone and had to Statistics from the Police indicated that an average of 10 people perish daily in road accidents in Uganda. It is estimated that about 70% of fatal accidents in the country are caused by motorcyclists. Accidents are gravely ‘eating’ into the country’s health budget, with 62.5% of Mulago’s surgery budget going to victims of road accidents. The hospital is also gravely affected since it has only 26 orthopedic surgeons and 15 neuro-surgeons. More so, 2.7% of its GDP is lost in road accidents. Reports also show that 75% of fatalities are male, with 40% of these below 25 years of age. BODA_BODA ACCIDENT VICTIMS, CYCLISTS SPEAK OUT Jamal Kiyemba, fish monger at Zana I was knocked off my motorcycle as I was going to collect fish. It is a trying time for me since my businesses have collapsed and I have no one to pay my medical bills. My leg is buried in plasters and I have to remain in hospital for several other months before I can go back to my two children and wife. Helly Ebega, security guard admitted at Rubaga Hospital I was riding my bicycle on the Northern bypass in Kampala when a boda boda cyclist rammed into me from behind. I fell down and don’t know how I was brought to the hospital. I don’t know what caused the accident because I was on the right side of the road. Joseph Ilemera, boda boda cyclist at Sadolin Paints stage Lack of respect between drivers and cyclists has contributed to a number of road accidents. In most cases, taxi drivers intimidate boda boda riders, especially when over-taking. This forces the cyclists to swerve off the tarmac suddenly. Ogen Odoi Malillo, a boda boda operator at Kyebando stage The main cause of accidents is reckless riding, especially by cyclists. The blame should also go to passengers for turning a deaf ear to the problem. They should be responsible enough to control speed and guide cyclists. Robert Bukenya, a boda boda cyclist at Shell Jinja Road stage Our roads are narrow and many cyclists are not trained well to ride on city streets. The Government should construct separate roads for pedestrians and motorists. The police should penalise indisciplined cyclists. Joseph Kayemba, admitted at Rubaga Hospital I was involved in an accident while fleeing thugs who were chasing me in Kyebando last month. I don’t know whether I was hit on the leg by the passenger I was carrying or other people. I hit something that I don’t remember and broke my leg. Doctors have recommended surgery. Reagan Matajja, accident survivor at Rubaga Hospital I was involved in an accident on Sunday morning when the motorcycle I was travelling on was knocked by a taxi. I don’t know what caused the accident because I lost consciousness after the incident. I used a boda boda so I could reach my place of work in time. I sustained severe injuries on my face, arms and legs. Additional reporting by Viola Nabatanzi and Pascal Kwesigwa

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