COMMENT | Samson Tinka | The December festive season is always eagerly awaited right across the world. It comes with pomp, merry making, visits and exchange of gifts. The season also involves a lot of movements from far places to either villages or vacation centers.
Because it’s a season of event after event, high mobility, safety and security aspects are highly compromised. People behave as if the world is coming to and end on those festive days. Many highway accidents are recorded, some fatal.
The result is that instead of merry making on 25th Dec, some families are holding burial ceremonies. Thieves and other criminals gear up for their activities during this period. In a bid not to be a victim of u safe and insecure practices, adhere to below tips.
As you plan to travel up-country, ensure that when you return you find your home/house same way you left it by doing the following,
- Ensure security lights are fully functioning
- Leave someone in the house or higher a security guard from Magnum security company or any other company
- Use durable locking mechanisms like padlocks both inside and outside doors
- Where possible install CCTV and intruder alarms and enable mobile phone viewing abilities
- Ask the neighbor to keep watch.
- Keep valuables far from reach like cash, land titles, academic papers, etc.
- Stop announcing your departure and arrival on social media. Things like Arua here I come, will cause you trouble. The bad guys will know that their target has no occupants and will attack immediately. Travel in silence and return without public announcement or else you risk to find your house naked and empty.
The traffic & road safety (speed limit) regulation Act 2004 clearly states that driving speed limit along the highway in Uganda is 100 km per hour and away from the urban centers, it is 80 kilometers per hour while around the urban centers you have to maintain a speed of 50 kilometers per hour. This is the most violated regulation in Uganda.
- Plan your journey well in time. It’s important while going for long route journeys, start early like 5am or 6am latest 7am. Early morning conditions favor both the car, the driver and the passengers. Trips like Kampala to Moyo, or Kampala to Kisoro can be very long. Such trips require fresh mind and soberness.
- Don’t drink alcohol and drive. If you can’t submit to this rule avoid travel. Just drink in your house and rest. Most accidents are caused by drunkard drivers behind the wheels.
- Take rest every after two hours. Rest of 15-20 minutes to hydrate, stretch, and short calls. These breaks re-energize drivers
- Create and sustain conversation with the team you travelling with. These conversations help to kill boredom that leads to sleeping-off while driving.
- Have a cup of tea or bottle of water all time to sip on to both hydrate but or also refresh the mind and body.
- Subject your car to mechanic and other quick checks including tyres, oil, shock absorbers etc. a car to be on the road should be in good mechanical conditions.
- Be the only “fool” on the road. Don’t race with any driver on the road. Avoid overtaking in sharp corners or any place where you have no clear visibility of 200 meters ahead of you.
- While driving in Kampala and other busy town centers, keep your windows glasses either fully up or ¾ closed or risk losing your valuables through rogues s that are everywhere. These chaps are also looking for Christmas when they never worked. And they always time right. Don’t be a victim.
- Park in malls, or any other secure place. Where possible handover the car to a security guard within the premises. You can tip the guard on your way out.
- Expired, adulterated, fake products found their way to the market during this period in the name of X-mas discount of buy one take two. Please avoid these scenarios. Buy from a supermarket or reorganized shop. Avoid items and products being vended. You will lose three times- money, the products and health issues. It’s even worse when it comes to food items.
- Shop early. By January of every year, me and you know that X-mas is on Dec 25th, what are you waiting to start pacing up on Dec 23rd,24th Buy what you need latest 10th Dec or else wait to be cheated.
Covid19 still on
This pandemic is still raging, and people are still dying. Some countries are even experiencing fourth wave. Germany closed soccer pitches from public. Let’s not lose it.
The ways of fighting this disease are known. MOH, the President and other leaders have talked for the last two years. Let’s cooperate or else, the two days of 25th and 26th Dec maybe your last days of enjoyment.
Basically during this festive season, insecurity cases are always high. It is me and you to ensure safe and security practices are observed.
Wishing you all a merry Xmas and Happy New Year of being security conscious.
Samson Tinka is a safety and security consultant | Director Matts Secure Solutions Ltd | tindsam@yahoo