(Photo shared with permission)
‘Tribute to Miss Rebecca, It’s a shame that we failed you! We-I mean, your institution, public private partners, by standers, every one, and I don’t want you to forgive us yet
Ok, so, am not a parent (yet) but If I hand over my 21 year old to a university to give her the best education that they can possibly land on, I also wanna be absolutely sure that she will graduate ALIVE after the course! But, unfortunately, this isn’t the case, as another young superstar from Uganda Christian University was robbed of her life. This was utter robbery! And as I write this, Iam filled with hatred and anger that If I do get the VC of Uganda Christian University like now, I would tie a 5kg stone on his swinging Bs (not sure what I’d do if it were female
Let’s reflect the stats: In October alone, public universities in Uganda have lost 3 young lives, and 6 have been hospitalized due to road traffic crashes. There is no win-win, or win-loss game with road traffic crashes: the physical, economic, social burden of a physical disability to a young life is HELL not just to herself, her family but also her nation. Unsurprisingly, this data isn’t captured anywhere:-forget the (draft) Uganda Police report of 2013 quoting 3345 lives lost. I read of another student truck that overturned along Luweero-Gulu high way in September this year claiming 14 lives! I know, we shall ask:-
‘Why hasn’t the government installed a standard ems service all over the country?
‘But, why hasn’t the government recruited doctors and nurses in hospitals?
‘This government also,…no drugs, no nothing…’
This is the art of procrastinating, and I wont speak about the government because I don’t understand much what they do: I know that however, Institutions have a legal mandate to keep their employees safe, and so must the institutions of higher learning: who harbor the most vulnerable generation of young people. Road traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for young people aged 15-29yrs globally! Its not HIV or music! So, why hasn’t a University set a safety policy for its students and staff? Is it hard to ask students who come and go home by boda boda’s to buy and use safety helmets? This young life lost her life because of many factors but mainly due to internal head injuries which would have been reduced by over 60% if she was using a helmet! How hard is it to ask everybody to use a seatbelt?
And then you tell me, about God/Allah’s work in road traffic crashes? I strongly respect your religion and culture but one thing Iam sooooo damn sure is, God/Allah isnt responsible for road traffic crashes in Uganda to be precise! So, these RIP messages are utter brilliance of ‘the green snake in a green grass’. Why don’t we question our institutions, practices and even ourselves? I overheard one hell of a guy saying, a helmet causes one to be bald! While that’s just a myth, I’d love to be sexy baldy than have my head crashed like how an African man does to a snake! By indulging into God/Allah when all this merde of road traffic crashes are claiming the young lives of this generation, we can be sure of one thing:-We must blame our selves. We’re failing to reason and find the cure: With all respect to such a christian university, I expected more other than a simple burial and condolences message! Uganda’s Primary, Secondary Schools & Higher institutions of learning must address safety of students or Shut the Hell Up!
Do something for goodness sake-goddammit! Road traffic crashes are preventable! So when I do die of a road traffic crash, don’t write RIP messages on my facebook wall or on my funeral. Find out what the hell happened. Was it speeding? Was it drink driving/walking? was it non use of helmets or seatbelts? was it poor visibility? was it of poor response time?was it poor road design? was it? and then ask: What can we do to avoid this?
Disclaimer: Views expressed in here do not reflect those of my current or future employers but rather myself. Twitter: @BrianBilalK1
The blogger is a road safety youth activist affiliated to the WHO UN Recognised Youths for Road Safety (www.youthsforroadsafety.org) On a normal basis, the blogger works with the Uganda Red Cross- First Aid & Ambulance Services Unit