Mutorwa calls on stakeholders to invest more in road safety

Works and Transport Minister, John Mutorwa, expressed the need for stakeholders to find more ways to invest in the road safety across the African continent.

Mutorwa in remarks delivered on his behalf during the commemoration of the 12th Africa Road Safety Day in Swakopmund on Sunday, recognised and commended current Sub-sectoral interventions and initiatives but stressed the requirement for stakeholders to dig deeper into their reserves to make national roads safe and citizens safer.

‘We recognise the current funding limitations as a result of the global financial crunch that affect us in terms of new austerity measures, but we need to see how we can creatively and innovatively apply the available resources to the greater good of the sub-sector,’ he explained.

The minister noted that road traffic accidents have emerged as an important public health issue, which needs to be tackled by a multi-disciplinary approach.

‘The trend in road traffic accident injuries and death is becoming alarming, so much that r
oad traffic accidents induce loss of three per cent of African Gross Domestic Product, as more than 296 000 lives are lost each year.

The victims include engineers, doctors, nurses, businessmen or business women, teachers, lawyers and the list go on. These are economically active members of the Namibian society.’

Inspector General of the Namibian Police Force, Lieutenant General Joseph Shikongo, added that despite the extent of the problem, the issue of road traffic death and injury and the suffering of victims has been largely ignored until now.

‘It has been left mainly to non-governmental victim organisations to offer assistance to fellow victims and to try and change attitudes by highlighting the extreme human suffering caused by road traffic crashes and the indifference by society,’ he said.

Shikongo explained that every citizen has a role to play in supporting road traffic accident victims and that support must be provided by all stakeholders in the sub-sector.

The First African Road Safety Day was
launched on 18 November 2012, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and since its inception, African states have commemorated the loss of its people on national highways.

The day is commemorated on every third Sunday of each November with the aim to educate and create awareness about the plight of the victims of traffic related deaths and injuries.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency