Donkey Tags to Help Save Lives

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By William J. Mbangula OKAHAO The Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVAF) has donated 1000 reflective donkey ear tags to traditional authorities in the Omusati and Ohangwena regions as part of its vigorous public road safety campaign. The donation made recently to the Queen of the Ovakwanyama Martha Nelumbu and Ongandjera King Jafet Munkundi is a follow-up to the one made in December last year to King Kauluma Elifas of Ondonga. Both donations consisted each of 500 reflective ear tags. MVAF Public Education Co-ordinator Cosmos Franco told New Era that the aim of the campaign is to save the lives of both the donkeys and human beings. The targeted regions are believed to have many donkeys roaming the roads and in most cases are the major contributors to road accidents. The tags were obtained by the MVAF through the UK-based organisation Donkey Welfare. Asked whether there was any improvement since the first introduction of the tags last December, Franco pointed out that the MVAF would soon review the impact of the tags in order to find out whether it has reduced donkey related accidents. In the meantime, his organisation will continue with public education by making further donations in the regions believed to have prevalent cases of donkey related accidents. Other animals, said Franco, will soon be tested to see whether they can also have reflective signals attached on them to help avoid road accidents. Franco noted that MVAF has established Regional Road Safety Forums in the regions except in Karas and Hardap. The forums are made up of police officers, the Roads Authority, fire brigade units, hospitals, regional and local authorities as well as members of the public. In this forum, it is said, information is shared on how to prevent accidents and how to handle them when they occur. At these forums, information will also be shared about the responsibilities and liabilities of the MVAF which some of the people seem not to understand properly. According to Franco, many people do not understand that the MVAF can only be liable for an accident when the fault is that of the driver of the vehicle involved.