Cops Get Safety Equipment

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By Emma Kakololo TSUMEB AS Namibians enter the festive season, a period characterised by a high number of road accidents, the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA) donated equipment worth N$1 million to the Namibian Police on Tuesday. The donation is a result of collective input from various corporate companies towards the festive season road safety campaign, an annual event hosted by the MVA and the National Road Safety Council (NRSC). The donation was handed over to the police to boost their capacity to curb drunken driving and speeding as well as to mount effective roadblocks. Roadblock signs, fuel, speed measuring equipment, evidential breathalyzers, generators and lights were handed over to road blocks in five northern regions, namely Oshana, Omusati, Ohangwena, Otjozondjupa and Oshikoto, while the roadblocks at Onaanda, Okalongo and Otjiwarongo would be supplied with electricity. In addition to the technical support, a public education CD featuring President Hifike-punye Pohamba and local musicians such as Gazza, Pablo, Buju, Pedrito, Omalaeti, Buti, Don Douw, Webster and Kambamo would be distributed country wide on top of planned media campaigns. “This assistance will go to five regions, but next year we will move to other regions,” stated MVA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Jerry Muadino-hamba at the launch of the “Safety First To Save Lives” campaign, at which the equipment was given to the law-enforcement agency. MVA Fund has contributed N$224 231 towards the project. “We are only short of N$17 000 to reach one million Namibian dollars,” said Muadinohamba who appealed for more funds. Two speed-measuring kits are needed in the Omusati and Ohangwena regions. Muadinohamba warned that the festive season was getting close and unfortunately accidents were going to occur. However, it was just a question of how to minimise them. “Many motorists have ventured on trips with worn-out tyres hoping that things would just be fine. To me, this is a recipe for disaster. Every effort should be made to ensure that road user safety is ensured,” said Dr Peingondjabi Shipoh, the National Road Safety Council (NRSC) Chairperson. According to Shipoh, this year’s theme was deliberately selected to highlight the need for a proactive stance on safety that should characterise and precede any trip on foot, bicycle or by any motorised mode of transport. “Where voluntarily adherence to rules and regulations cannot be achieved, enforcement efforts should be stepped up to bring the culprits to book,” he said. He added that this year’s campaign has taken a different dimension as close to 20 corporate organisations responded positively to MVA’s resource mobilisation drive and assisted where help was needed. “With this campaign we are demonstrating our inseparable partnership and the need for holding each other’s hand in the promotion of road safety for the benefit of all road users,” he stated. The year 2005 would go down in history as the year in which Namibia for the first time recorded a death toll of 28 lives in a single accident. Accepting the equipment for Otjozondjupa Region where most road accidents have been recorded over the years and in particular the gruesome accident that took 28 lives, Detective Inspector Charles Sibolile expressed gratitude with the technical assistance his region has received. “The present assistance will surely enhance our assistance. If we can get a breathalyzer, most of the things we got,” said Sibolile. Total Namibia, BP Namibia, Namcor, Roads Authority (RA), Roads Contractor Company (RCC), Road Fund Administration (RFA), Social Security Commission (SSC), Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF), MTC, Nored, Mutual and Federal, Standard Bank Namibia, Bank Windhoek, J&P Group, NABTA, TWC and NRSC are among the sponsors.