UNRA Erecting Concrete Road Signs to Combat Vandalism

2985 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Dan Alinange, the spokesperson of UNRA, says the move stems from the stealing of vital road and warning signs along highways, including in national parks, which has resulted into tragic accidents.

Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is erecting road signs using materials that aren’t attractive to vandals in order to improve road safety.
 
Dan Alinange, the spokesperson of UNRA, says the move stems from the stealing of vital road and warning signs along highways, including in national parks, which has resulted into tragic accidents.
 
The latest such accident was on Friday night when a KKT bus travelling from Koboko to Kampala rammed into an elephant on Karuma-Pakwach road killing eight people and injuring over 40 others.Despite being a newly tarmacked road, the road literally has no signs.
 
Alinange said road signs on that stretch of road, as well as many others around the country, have been stolen by scrap dealers and blacksmiths. He said road signs on the Northern Bypass in Kampala have all been vandalized.
 
To ward off such vandals, Alinange says they are now designing road signs made of concrete, fibre and wood which are less attractive to vandals. These signs are already being erected on the Northern Bypass.
 
Alinange says some of the vandals are known in the local communities, the very reason why locals and their leaders should become vigilant and protect such signs. He said removing road signs endangers the lives of people including the very vandals.
 
Alinange was responding to calls by Lillian Nsubuga, the public relations manager of Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), that vital road signs need to be re-erected in all park roads, particularly Karuma-Pakwach, Masaka-Mbarara and Mbarara-Kasese.
 
//Cue in: “We hope that …
Cue out: …of the public.”//
 
Nsubuga says the biggest challenge for motorists in national parks is lack of respect for traffic and park laws. She says animals in the parks have right of way as well as the freedom to roam at will.
 
//Cue in: “The national parks …
Cue out: … 40 kilometers per hour.”//
 
Nsubuga says calls that UWA fences off national parks are not feasible because that would be counter-productive.
 
//Cue in: “The same people …
Cue out: … won’t even know.”//
 
Nsubuga denied claims that oil and gas activities could be forcing the wild animals away from their habitats hence the accidents. She says instead it is the humans who are invading the parks.
 
Nsubuga also says Ugandans ought to know that tourism is now Uganda’s biggest foreign exchange earner and will be so for generations as long as the wildlife and the environment in which they live are respected and protected.

 

About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.


In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.


I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."