It was Monday morning before the last two weeks. Hassen Shafi was taking a client through his (3-legged vehicle /bajaj) before the scene happened in front of him. He reached the busiest main avenue of Jigjiga City, around the regional government's meeting hall. Two traffic officers were working as replacements to the Un-functional traffic light there.
“Whether it was lack of coordination of the officers or the drivers' fault, I don't know, but a big truck suddenly collided with a minibus, other vehicles behind too,” says Hassen. He is convinced that the role of the traffic light there was big enough. “Such accidents are happening daily,” he added.
Mr. Akalu is a minibus driver in the City. While he shares Hassen's idea that the role of the Un-functional traffic light in the downtown had to prevent accidents is extreme, he has an additional reason.
“the increasing new vehicles number in the City is mind boggling,” says Mr. Abiy; “It is strange that even though alternative roads are being built, the number of vehicles is more than anyone could imagine.”
He doesn't only suggest the local government should fix the disabled traffic light in the main avenue, but also install additional traffic lights in other busy streets. There have been two traffic lights in Jigjiga City for so long including the one on the main avenue.
“We are witnessing more accidents than before here since the traffic light was Un-functional” says Abdi Roble, a traffic officer in the City. “It has been five months since the traffic light in the downtown failed to function, we are working in shifts to supervise the vehicles' flow there” added Abdi. He claimed that he and his colleagues have been reporting to the authorities since then.
“There is a serious behavioral problem with the drivers,” says Nimo Haji, a recent car accident victim. “I was traveling using bajaj into a market, another very young boy driving a speeding bajaj came behind and collided,” she says, “now, I can't move my right leg properly”.
Nimo is more concerned with the behaviors of the drivers. “the regional Roads and Transport Bureau needs to consider correcting the acts of such youngsters” she said.
According to Mr. Mohammed Haybe, head of traffic police officers in the reginos Roads and Transport Bureau, there have been numerous car accidents in the past three months in the region in general, causing the death of 37 people and 42 fatal injuries. These accidents brought the loss of more than 19 million ETB worth of resources.
“The Region is working to mend the two traffic lights in the City soon, There is also a plan to procure additional traffic lights and install them on key positions” said Mr. Mohammed. He added that the Bureau is also assessing the Main causes of these accidents in addition to the case of Jigjiga City. “We will proceed then after, to take measures accordingly”