Oshifukwa – A shocking total of 1439 people lost their lives on Namibia’s roads in a span of two years, with the number rising from 718 recorded in 2015 to 721 in 2016, translating into an increase of two percent in the number of fatalities, while a considerable reduction of 10 and 12 percent was attained on road crashes and injuries sustained, respectively.
The shocking statistics were released by a Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) fund representative on Friday at a community meeting at Oshifukwa some 10 kilometres north of Omuthiya, that was aimed at sensitising community members to the dangers of lingering on the road and what precautions can be taken.
Oshifukwa was singled out as a road accident hotspot in the region during the just-ended festive season due athehigh number of cuca shops and bars lining the B1 road.
Revealing the figures was MVA representative Linekela Shipindo stationed at Omuthiya, who said that accidents were becoming a great concern, hence the need to erect speed humps in some of the areas identified to be prone to accidents.
He stressed that most accidents occur during the summer holiday season, citing the fact that 535 crashes were reported between November 22, 2016 and January 8 this year, resulting in injuries to 1074 people and a slight increase in fatalities (106 compared to the 104 fatalities recorded over the same period in 2015/16 out 593 accidents, which resulted in 1221 injuries.
He added that 31 percent of the recorded accidents occurred in Khomas Region during the two 2-15 and 2016 festive seasons, followed by Erongo, Otjozondjupa, Oshana and Oshikoto with Zambezi and Omaheke having the least number of fatal road crashes.
More males died on the road over the festive season, representing 69 percent of victims in 2015/16 with a slight reduction of two percent in 2016/17, when over 22 male drivers succumbed to road accidents, compared to 25 that died over the same period the previous year.
The meeting was attended by members of the Namibian police, educational officers and the Omuthiya Constituency Councillor Samuel Shivute.
Shipindo said most accidents in the vicinity of Oshifukwa occurred during the wee hours, as bar patrons were returning to their homes and he cautioned the community to desist from jaywalking along the road if they have consumed liquor.