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Thank you, Flavia, for a timely reminder of this often neglected side of the petroleum business. The statistics are pretty ugly, but even one such accident is one too many. Clearly, Uganda would need a robust set of regulations for road transportation and storage of dangerous and flammable goods, as well as stricter regulation of what vehicles are allowed on its roads. As far as pipelines and rail, these options will probably improve the safety of oil transportation. But it should be remembered that safety is not guaranteed even here. The horrible oil train accident in Quebec, Canada 6 July this year underlines this. 

So far, focus in Uganda has been more on upstream and fiscal issues. Now, as you point out, attention must also be directed at downstream issues such as road safety. Adding to what Dr. Kasiima (the traffic police commissioner) suggests, it seems the roads themselves might need upgrading, both in terms of improved road surfaces and for taking on heavier loads.

Remember also that laws and regulations are no guarantee for fixing the problem. Without a regulatory push for implementing such new rules, and allocating sufficient attention and resources to this effort, the rules will not help much.

Uganda obviously has a big challenge to regulate and manage the health, safety and environmental aspects and consequences of the coming petroleum era. Please keep reminding the stakeholders and policy makers of the various sides of this, especially those that seem left unattended. And when the risks and needs are eloquently pointed out in articles such as this one by Flavia, let us hope that the relevant authorities listen.  

PS: For anyone who missed the accident at Lac-Megantic two weeks ago, Bloombeg ran a story on it yesterday: