Katima Mulilo — The National Road Safety Council (NRSC) at Katima Mulilo on Monday launched phase 2 of the Ethimbo national road safety campaign.
Ethimbo, meaning "It's time for action" is a national road safety campaign aimed at educating road users about road safety primarily to reduce the carnage on Namibian roads.
Caprivi Governor Lawrence Sampofu, said road accidents continue to increase unabated and impact heavily on families and the country's economy.
"The epidemic of road traffic injuries and death has become almost the order of the day. Many families and households are barely making ends meet as they try to cope with the deaths and injuries of their loved ones. It is very disappointing because such losses do not only affect families, but also affect the community and the country's prosperity," he said.
"The establishment of regional road safety forums was aimed at involving communities in road safety promotion and advocacy within regions in Namibia to bring local solutions to local road safety problems. I want to remind members of these road safety forums that you are our eyes with regard to introducing measures that can help address road safety challenges," the governor appealed to residents.
Sampofu said a high percentage of young people are succumbing to road crashes, which in turn is reversing the economic gains of the country.
"Let us join hands with government through the national road safety council in making our roads safer. It is also statistically proven that the economically active age groups between 24 and 49 years are the most affected, which in turn reverses the economic gains of this nation. I urge you to take action when in a car, either as a driver or passenger or as a cyclist or pedestrian. Don't be a dummy this festive season," Sampofu cautioned.
Katima Mulilo Mayor John Likando also cautioned people to heed traffic rules and be mindful of road obstructions.
"We are entering the festive season, a time when families gather and festivities such as weddings, Christmas and New Year take place. Let's be cautious. You might have seen that we are busy constructing and maintaining roads in town. There are some obstructions, therefore people should be careful in finding their way. I also call upon us leaders to re-energise to limit accidents and loss of life by sharing information," Likando said.
Chief Regional Officer, Regina Ndopu-Lubinda, who also chairs the regional road safety forum believes road safety should go beyond mere legislation, as tangible action may be the only measure to reduce road crashes drastically.
"The paramount objective of this national campaign is to promote actions that will result in saving lives by reducing the number of casualties on our roads. To do this we must promote and inculcate the right attitudes and appropriate actions for both road users and builders of roads. We need to make the culture of road safety in Namibia and in particular the the Caprivi Region genuine and visible, not only through legislative processes, but through harmonised action by all involved," said Ndopu-Lubinda.