Opinion: Major Causes of Juba City Traffic Accidents. 

By Paul Bal Gatkek, MBA 

Cars from the presidential convoy crashed into accident (Photo credit: supplied)
Cars from the presidential convoy crashed into accident (Photo credit: supplied)

July 12, 2021 — If you have been to Juba, you may have noticed that its traffic can be crowded, messy, and  dangerous. For instance, in the first seven days that I was in Juba, I have counted at least five traffic accidents on Airport Road. One of these accidents was fatal. Such accidents were on Airport  Road alone, and given that I do not travel this road every day, I might have missed to count other  accidents. Accordingly, it can be argued that traffic accidents, including fatal ones are common  occurrence in Juba. Thus, this article will examine some of the major causes of traffic accidents in  South Sudan’s largest city. In short, the following paragraphs will discuss some of the major  contributing factors of Juba road accidents. 

1. Poor Road Condition.

Although Juba is the capital and the only major city in South Sudan,  it still suffers heavily from poor road condition. Most roads in Juba are not tarmacked, and  the few that are tarmacked are in bad shape and in great disrepair. For example, if you care to observe the roads in Juba, you will notice that potholes caused by lack of maintenance  are common sight throughout the city. Such poor road condition is likely to impede traffic flow, a situation that can lead to increased traffic jam. Meanwhile, increased traffic jam  can cause frustration and fatigue among drivers which may lead to reckless driving that  can cause motor vehicle accidents. 

2. Recklessness on the Part of Boda-boda Operators.

Although riding on a boda-boda in  Juba is pricier than taking a public transport, many Juba residents nevertheless prefer to  ride on boda-bodas because boda-bodas tend to navigate the traffic quickly, access routes  with no public transport, and are usually available on demand. However, riding on boda 

bodas is dangerous as motor-cycle related accidents amount to large number of accidents  happening on Juba roads. This is because boda-boda operators are known to speed, squeezed through tight traffic, and can blatantly ignored traffics rules. Whether you are  keen or not, it is easy to observe boda-boda operators ignoring traffic rules by riding on  wrong side of roads, riding unto oncoming traffic, and unnecessarily changing lanes  without warning to drivers, and other boda-boda operators. Consequently, ignorant of  traffic laws by those operating boda-bodas, and their increasing present in Juba is also a  major source of road accidents in the capital. 

3. Uncooperative and Aggressive Drivers.

For the most part, South Sudanese are generally  aggressive in nature. Accordingly, this aggressive behaviour can be seen on Juba roads as  drivers disregard traffic laws at will. Other ways that South Sudanese drivers show their  aggressiveness while driving include shouting, and unreasonably honking at each other on  the roads. These behaviours not only show disrespect to other drivers on the roads, but also  lead to road rage, a situation known to cause road accidents. For instance, if you happened  to observe a major road intersection in Juba such as the Seven Days Round-about, Customs Round-about, and Juba University Round-about, you can easily see the impatient nature of  South Sudanese drivers, and how they pay no attention to traffic laws. Hence, negative  driving behaviors that do not respect traffic laws can also be blamed as a cause of accidents  in Juba. 

4. Corrupt and Irresponsible Traffic Officers.

Juba city deployed traffic officers on some  of its major roads. But it is hard to tell that the city traffic officers are doing a good job or  even if they know what they are doing. This is because traffic officers do not seem to enforce the traffic rules. Unfortunately, most of them can be accused of being pre-occupied 

with collecting illegal money from the many traffic violators they can find on the roads.  So, it can be argued that Juba traffic officers pay little attention to the events happening on  the roads and leave road users to do whatever they like. In other words, many drivers can  be observed talking freely on phones while driving, and they often go unpunished. In  addition, drivers can over speed, impede traffic flows, drive on wrong lanes, drive on  wrong side of the roads, drive towards oncoming traffic, drive on a one-way road among many other traffic violations known to cause accidents and Juba city traffic officers do not  issue traffic fine and penalties that can regulate these reckless driving. 

5. Unmarked Roads.

Most roads in Juba are not marked into lanes. Thus, drivers can drive  on any part of the roads as it pleases them. Unfortunately, unmarked roads or roads with  irregular markings can confuse drivers and are therefore prone to major accidents. In  addition to unmarked roads, accidents in Juba can also be blamed on lack of road signs and  speed limits. This is because there are hardly roads signs and speed limits on most roads in  Juba. As a consequence, lack of road signs, and speed limits, can lead drivers to make  dangerous traffic turns that can result to accidents. In addition, absent of speed limits can also make drivers to drive at a high-way speed within the city, thus causing accidents due  to over-speeding. 

In conclusion, poor road condition, recklessness on the part of boda-boda operators, aggressive  driving behaviors, corrupt traffic officers, absent of traffic signs, and speed limits account for the  great number of motor vehicle accidents happening in Juba city.  

Mr. Paul Bal Gatkek graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Business Administration  and Economics, and a Master of Business Administration at the University of Windsor in Canada. He can be reached at gatkekbal@gmail.com

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1 comment

Gol Bol July 13, 2021 at 1:07 am

Mr. Paul Bal Gatkek, MBA

‘Did you really graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) Business Administration and Economics, and a Master of Business Administration at the University of Windsor in Canada?’

Are you not another lowly educated fake PhD doctors of Mr. Riek Machar or Lam Akol?

Did you go to your Nuer villages in ‘Maiwut?’

The Reasons I asked you these question is, I went and studied in Canada,at McGill University in Quebec province, in Montreal. Many Sudanese refugees have been helped by the Canadian, my direct cousin is in winpeg, a ot South Sudanese are there, Dinkas/jaangs and others. But to be honest with you, Our Nuers ke nyantoc are not taking advantage about the opportunity the Canadian people have given them.

The Jaangs/Dinkas/Muonyjiengs/Jenges are integrating into Canadian communities. I went and met a jaang/Dinka/Muonyjieng/Jenge sometime ago, at Yukon. He was from Alberta, He is a civil Engineer, we helped built most all what the Canadian authorities and asked wanted to be built in Yukon.

I still feel very bad, because, there were young indigenous Canadian, he was very good good and their some two girls. They very informed, they were work on ‘appareciiship section’. They complained that their country has and their people have stolen from them by the European settlers. The people in ‘South Dakota, North Dakota and Minneapolis are their own people’

That is 100%, the European just played games with evil every piece of trash long time ago. Indigenous, Americans say same, indigenous of South American, says the same, Indigenous Australia or New Zealand say the same.

Here in the Nile valley, we have never ever been conquered by any piece rubbish on this planet earth. People who almost conquered us were the ‘Ottomans/turkeys’ We always armed our selves even better than our enemies, reasons. We are the Ancient Egyptians, Arab are not in the slightest on par with us. But tribalism is a way of life here.

The Nuers many are in US’s states of Nebraska. They like watching a lot ‘Hollywood propagandized videos’

There are some humans on this planet earth who cannot ‘afford to live side by side with White people, because, you didn’t have any other way. But there are some people on this planet earth who just want to ‘Race’ of of this planet earth.

People who don’t want white race on their backyards are 70%

Game is fellows. Pure HATRED and RACISM is here.


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