At a ceremony presided over of Mr Charles Opio Ewalu, who represented the Minister of Works and Transport, Hon. Abraham Byandala, CEDAT celebrated the successful use of the bicycles at Makerere. The bicycle project is a result of collaboration between UN-Habitat and the Dutch Cycling Embassy as well as UST-Network.
The project was introduced to CEDAT in February 2014, as a way of encouraging students and staff to cycle. The project has been a success and has registered hundreds of users especially students. The objectives of the project are to create a Free and an affordable alternative means of transport, Safe; road safety and social safety, maintain current cyclists by allowing them to park on the project rack. The project dubbed “cycle for health” allows users to take the bicycle for one hour upon leaving their identity card. If one exceeds one hour, he / she is expected to pay Shs1000 per extra hour. This money is used to maintain the bicycles and the rack.
The CEDAT Principal, Dr Henry Alinaitwe welcomed the visitors who comprised officials from various government ministries and called on the Ministry of Works and Transport to embrace Non-Motorised transport which includes walking and cycling. He called on them to pay particular attention to issues of safety of the riders while planning for this mode of transportation.
Mrs Amanda Ngabirano, a member of UST-Network encouraged people to use cycling as a mode of transportation because it is healthy, it helps reduce traffic congestion, reduce accidents and pollution. She noted that the project had been a success because at peak hours, all bicycles are used by bikers. She said CEDAT student cyclists now have a safe parking slot for their bikes and there was increasing demand from other colleges to have this service extended to them. Cycling is common in Europe but is looked at as a poor man’s mode of transportation in Africa. Presently, only Johannesburg has a planned cycling transport system.
KCCA is working on decongesting the city using non-motorised modes of transportation. These modes include walking and cycling. Mr Charles Opio Ewalu said the government recognises the need for the provision of non-motorized transport facilities due to the economic, health and environmental significance. He noted that although unsafe, Non- Motorised Transport (walking and cycling) is the most popular means of transport in Uganda. In the central business district, most trips are done by walking. Thus the Non-Motorised Transport Policy was formulated and launched mid last year. This policy will allow for safety to all road users. He said, countries that have attained rapid socio-economic development have adopted and adapted transport modes and technologies, and accumulated sufficient quality stock of transport infrastructure.
“In relation to the transport sector, by 2040, the government of Uganda envisages a multi-lane standard gauge railway system with high speed trains using the latest technology for both passenger transport and cargo freight. This will form the backbone of East Africa Regional railway system,” Mr Opio said. “By 2040, Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA) will be one of the most attractive cities in the world, offering its citizens and visitors a safe and efficient transport system based on high quality public transport and a complementary non-motorised transport network.” As the government plans our transport system, cycling remains a sure way of going places and staying healthy, all at the same time. The function culminated into a cocktail.
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