More Road Safety Advocate CSOs Join ROSACU

ROSACU meeting hosted by HOVITA

The old phrase that goes “united we stand, divided we fall” was witnessed on Friday as Hope for Victims of Traffic Accidents (HOVITA) hosted a meeting that welcomed new members of the Road Safety Coalition Uganda (ROSACU).

All speakers that included the already-grounded ROSACU members as well as the new entrants emphasized the importance of having one voice in order to cause a change in the big numbers of lives lost and injured in road crashes year in and year out.

Uganda has a number of civil society organizations that have been advocating for road safety but their voices have been like insects buzzing in the wilderness where man doesn’t bother even when the sounds are consumed by the ears.

In order to cause an impact regarding their efforts, road safety civil societies decided to form a coalition that metamorphosed into ROSACU. Before today’s meeting, ROSACU had among other members Uganda Road Accident Reduction Network Organisation (URENO), Safe Way Right Way (SWRW), African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME), CEPA and HOVITA itself.

Sam Bambanza, the HOVITA founder, welcomed new members of ROSACU and elaborated that walking as a group would make them reach further as far as road safety advocacy concerns.

The new members include Uganda Health Communication Alliance (UHCA) that was represented by Linda Ashaba, Agency for Transformation (AFT) that was represented by Catherine Mugisha, Road Safety Club Uganda represented by Tom Mwesigwa, Responsive Drivers Uganda represented by Anthony, Malteser International represented by Mara L, Uganda Professional Drivers Network (UPDN) and United Nations Association of Uganda.

ROSACU chairman Fred Nkuruho appreciated the energies exhibited by the various CSOs towards the call for safer roads. “I am sure that the new members will push us towards achieving ROSACU goals and vision,” Nkuruho said. This message was reechoed by Jackie Okao, the coordinator Global Health Advocacy Incubator and she committed her organization to the coalition explaining that there is need for forward strides to minimize road crashes.

Asim Khan from the Global Health Advocacy Incubator, who virtually participated in the meeting pledged support towards the formation of the ROSACU communicators’ group. The meeting deliberated on how the ideas of the ROSACU communicators’ group would be integrated with those of the Chief Executive Officers. The meeting resolved that such matters will continuously be discussed whenever members gather.

Road crash deaths have steadily been increasing but efforts put in to reduce the statistics are still dismal. For instance, 4,159 died in road crashes in 2021 which was an increase compared to 3,663 recorded in 2020 and 3,500 in 2019. The CSOs’ voices seem to have caused little impact because they have been working in isolation.