Maria Amakali and Selma Ikela
Ten people lost their lives on the country’s roads over the long weekend despite efforts from relevant stakeholders to ensure that such incidences are contained.
The Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund reported that 50 crashes occurred with 147 people sustaining injuries.
Namibian police spokesperson Kauna Shikwambi said that one notable accident occurred on Friday on the Ondangwa/Omuthiya road about 25km from Omuthiya in which three people died on the spot.
Hours before the accident an eight-year-old schoolgirl got hit by a vehicle on the Ondangwa/Omuthiya main road just 35 km from Ondangwa at Okatope village. Aneli-Rejoice Namakumbu and her friend were crossing the road from school when she got bumped by a Ford Ranger. Namakumbu died instantly, with the 45-year-old driver and suspect in the matter still on the run.
Other road accidents that claimed lives occurred at the Ngoma road near Musanga village, where an unknown adult male was bumped and killed by an unidentified vehicle which failed to stop as designated. Also, 31-year-old Nel van Greunen died after his car was involved in a head-on collision at farm Wildacker in the Grootfontein district, 150 km to Grootfontein. Shikwambi explained that other deaths occurred in Walvis Bay, Henties Bay, Rehoboth and Rundu.
MVA Fund spokesperson Mona-Liza Garises said there were fewer crashes and fatalities this Easter. In 2013, MVA Fund recorded 54 crashes during Easter, while in 2014, 59 crashes were reported. In 2015, 81 crashes were recorded, while 65 were recorded in 2016.
Over the same period nine people died in 2013, six in 2014, and 25 in 2015. The following year 11 deaths were recorded.
Garises said a comparative five-year (2013-2017) analysis of crashes, injuries and fatalities recorded reveals that from 2013 until 2015 the number of crashes has been on a steady rise, while a decrease of 23 percent is noted from 2016 to 2017.
She said the analysis further indicates that the number of injuries has increased between 2013 and 2015 with a reduction of 18 percent in 2016. “Compared to the previous year, injuries increased by 22 percent in 2017. The number of fatalities spiked from nine in 2013 to 25 in 2015, while a reduction of 18 percent is observed in 2017 compared to 2016,” remarked Garises.