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Opposition MP Urges Overhaul Of Emergency Response Systems Following Fatal Highway Accidents

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The Shadow Minister for Works and Transport, Mr Francis Mwijukye, has called on the police to enhance their response to emergencies, particularly road crashes, in the wake of a devastating accident on the Kampala-Entebbe highway that claimed the life of a lawyer.

The tragic incident occurred yesterday morning when the brakes of a concrete mixer truck failed near the Nkumba Traffic Lights junction, causing it to overturn and collide with multiple vehicles waiting at the intersection. Among the victims was Raphael Okiot, a 34-year-old lawyer, who was fatally struck by the falling truck while in his car.

Eyewitnesses reported that emergency responders faced delays in reaching the scene, hampered by the influx of onlookers crowding the area. This prompted Mr Mwijukye, who represents Buhweju in the 11th Parliament, to demand urgent reforms in emergency response protocols.

“The country has not prioritized such an emergency response,” Mr Mwijukye remarked, criticizing the perceived disparity in police response times between political events and critical emergencies.

Highlighting the need for increased investment in emergency equipment and resources, Mr Mwijukye emphasized the importance of procuring tools that can facilitate swift rescue and recovery operations during crises on land, water, and in the air.

“If you get a fire outbreak, they will tell you the equipment is at somebody’s house. They will tell you the whole region has just one equipment for such a fire response or they say ‘we don’t have one.’ So, they must prioritize this emergency equipment,” he asserted.

While police were unavailable for immediate comment, Health Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Ainebyoona reassured the public of the country’s readiness to handle emergency cases, citing the presence of trained teams and emergency ambulances stationed along highways.

However, he acknowledged that the delay in responding to yesterday’s accident may have been exacerbated by a failure to promptly alert emergency services.

The call for improved emergency response comes amid a backdrop of recurring road accidents in Uganda, many of which have been attributed to factors such as speeding, careless overtaking, and vehicle malfunctions.

As the nation grapples with the aftermath of yet another tragedy, the spotlight shines on the urgent need for coordinated efforts to bolster emergency preparedness and minimize the loss of life on Uganda’s roads.

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