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MPs mourn Kiryandongo accident victims, caution govt on state of roads, hospitals

Remains of the Gaaga bus involved in the accident that claimed several people last week.  (COURTESY PHOTO)

Members of Parliament from the Lango sub-region under their umbrella Lango Parliamentary Group -LPG on Tuesday decried the tragic road accident that happened on the Kampala -Gulu highway last week, claiming lives of 22 Ugandans and leaving scores injured.

A joint statement signed by Hon Felix Okot Ogong, the chairperson for LPG, MPs said the challenge of road traffic incidents in the country have reached an alarming level and now want the issue investigated and rigorous inspection framework be instituted on all public service vehicles.

They also want Parliament to spearhead the road safety campaign and sensitize Ugandans against the reckless driving, improper road use among others.

In February this year, United Nations report 2018 noted that Uganda’s roads are far below international standards making the country prone to accidents in the whole East African region.

The review conducted at the request of the government with support from the UN and the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), established that the extent of the road safety challenge is serious but has failed to attract the necessary attention for appropriate interventions.

The report indicated that a number of roads in the country including those in the central business district and highways leading to upcountry regions are too narrow while others reportedly substandard making their lifespan too short.

Legislators also decried the sorry state of hospitals in the country saying that medical facilities are less facilitated to handle emergencies.

“We want to bring to the attention of this House the sorry state of our hospitals, especially when it comes to managing emergencies like this one [Kiryandongo accident],” read the statement.

They added that, “the hospitals in Kiryandongo where victims were first hospitalised lacked the basics of facilities, equipment and medical supplies.”

They requested government to consider building robust capacity of public health facilities should become part of the priorities in the country’s development planning.

However, Mps commended the manner in which government handled the dreadful incident on Friday night of airlifting accident victims from Kiryandongo to help them access the medical facilities in Kampala.

“We note with gratitude the speedy, firm and responsible manner with which government handled this tragic incident,” read the statement.

Mps also welcomed the contribution of Shs5 million and Shs3 million promised by government towards the burial expenses and treatment of the injured victims respectively but said they are waiting for the detailed police report on the matter.

On Sunday, the Government declared three days of mourning following Friday’s nasty road accident in Kiryandongo district a move that legislators applauded.

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