New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Kavango Launches 'Ethimbo' Road Safety Campaign

Rundu — With over 15 000 road crashes on our national roads costing taxpayers close to N$2 billion per year, the Kavango Regional Safety Forum yesterday Thursday launched phase 2 of 'Ethimbo', the national road safety campaign.

The campaign is aimed at involving communities in road safety promotion and advocacy within each of the 13 regions of the country to bring local solutions to local road safety problems.

Road accident statistics are expected to hit the 30 000 mark by 2020 if no radical action is taken to reduce car crashes, announced Daniel Lilenga a member the Rundu Town Council's Management Committee.

Lilenga delivered the keynote address on the occasion on behalf of the town's mayor, Hilkka Levi. Despite the aggressive campaigns to promote the launch of 'Ethimbo', the event at the Rundu Sports Stadium was poorly attended.

"Members of a particular community know their neighbourhood better than any traffic law enforcement [authority] from elsewhere. Members of the road safety forums know exactly where road crashes occur and therefore you are the eyes with regard to introducing measures that can help address road safety challenges in your community," Lilenga told a virtually empty sports stadium.

He urged office-bearers of the regional road safety forum to engage communities in the region to come up with workable solutions.

"Today many families are barely making ends meet as they try to cope with deaths and the injuries of their loved ones," he said.

With young people between 24-29 involved in most road crashes, he noted deaths and injuries do not only affect the families, but also the community and the country's prosperity.

Despite the technological advancements in the field of motor engineering and dynamics of speed, there is still an increase in road crashes, said Lilenga.

Lilenga concluded by encouraging road users whether pedestrians, drivers or cyclists to assist government to ensure that everyone utilizes the road network with safety foremost in their minds.

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