SWAKOPMUND –Erongo regional constituency councillor, Hafeni Ndemula, has urged stakeholders in the road safety sector to enter into long-term collaborative engagements with all sta§keholders to deal with high road fatalities and accident related injuries in the country.
Ndemula also called on those who have not already entered into such arrangements with the National Road Safety Council to emulate the example of those that have done so, to ensure that resources geared towards road safety are well spent and duplication of efforts is eliminated. Hafeni was addressing representatives of regional road safety forums, church leaders, officials of the Ministry of Safety and Security and various other stakeholders at the 4th National Road Safety Council stakeholder’s three-day conference held last week at the coastal town of Swakopmund.
Close to a 100 participants attended the conference. The three-day conference is an annual event aimed at making Namibia’s road network one of the safest in the world through stakeholder collaboration and various safety initiatives to create awareness with regard to road safety. This year’s conference was convened under the theme – “Refocussing efforts on implementation of the Namibian Chapter of the Decade of Action” and included various local and international speakers. Conference discussions were based on the incorporation of road safety educational programmes in the national school curriculum, as well as the effects of case withdrawals on the morale of traffic officers, as well as the capacity and advantages of criminal courts when dealing with traffic related offences.
Hafeni said there is an urgent need to improve the country’s performance through heightened synergies and smart partnerships between public and private institutions that in turn will reduce fatalities and injury rates in Namibia. “I am calling for action and challenge you to produce tangible results in relation to the reduction in both accidents and resultant fatalities and serious injuries. It is my expectation that at the end of this conference you will produce an actionable strategy and appropriate solutions to known road safety problems for the next year,” he said.
He said an investigation by a high-level committee into the causes of road crashes, indicated that the Khomas, Otjozondjupa, Oshana and the Erongo region account for the majority of road accidents in the country. “These accidents not only caused severe emotional and physical injury, but also cost millions of dollars that should have been put to better use rather than compensating or treating victims,” he said.
By Eveline de Klerk