January 14, 2022, is a day which Falu Ochol, a resident of Najjembe, Buikwe district, wishes he could forget but probably never will.
It is the day Ochol was informed that he had lost four family members at once in an accident in Najjemba town along Kampala-Jinja highway. He had lost his wife Akumu Faith (23) and their three children.
The deceased children have since been identified as Anyango Rose (14 years), Awori Promise (1yr and 8months) and a daughter of the deceased (Akumu Faith) Kimono Shamila aged 3.
According to one of the eye witnesses, the victims were crossing the road when a Tata lorry rammed into them, killing them instantly. The lorry driver had been reportedly trying to dodge the potholes when he lost control of the vehicle and eventually caused the accident.
Locals say the deceased had just come from attending burial of one of their village mates, prior to the terrible accident.
The accident that wiped out Ochol’s family came on the heels of yet another devastating loss which had occurred a last year before when his first wife died. Ochol’s first wife passed away in November 2021.
“He had just married the new wife (Akumu). His other wife died in November and now this one has died in January. On Sunday, he was supposed to organise ‘lumbe’ for the one who died in November but now, even the kids he had fathered with the former have also perished,” one of the locals said.
Speaking to NTV, while at Kawolo hospital mortuary to receive the bodies of the deceased, a despondent Ochol said it was still hard for him to come to terms with what had befallen him.
Ochol said life had been very difficult when he lost his first wife but he had been consoled by Akumu.
“I cannot even explain the situation I am in right now. I don’t know if I will ever believe what has happened to me. My whole family to perish like that!” Ochol said.
The locals blamed the accident on government which they accuse of failure to rehabilitate the road which they say has many potholes.
In the same circumstances, three family members perished on the same road on January 1, 2022.
Meanwhile, police say they’re hunting for the driver of the Tata lorry who fled from the scene of the accident.