By Simon Liseli
NATIONAL Road Safety Council (NRSC) has officially launched the Caprivi Regional Road Safety Forum after a week- long campaign on road safety in Katima Mulilo.
The launch was declared officially on February 3, 2012 in Caprivi and the NRSC will continue with this road safety forum in all thirteen regions of the country.
The special adviser to the Caprivi Governor comrade Ignatius Nkunga officially launched the forum on behalf of the Regional Governor Hon. Lawrence Alfea Sampofu who was not present during the launch.
In his speech which was read on his absentia “This is a testimony on 11th of May 2011 Namibia joined the rest of the world in launching the decade of action for road safety covering a period of ten years (that is 2011-2020)” He said Caprivi Governor in his speech.
On community engagement the Hon. Governor believes that if real changes are made it is imperative that the community should not be left behind nor at regional, local and on traditional level road safety should be taken seriously in order to move towards better and improve road safety.
“It does not make any sense for us to only accept that road crashes are traumatic and terrible experiences, but fail to take a decisive position towards their reduce if we cannot at all eliminate them,” quoted in his speech.
Governor Sampofu called on encompassing Community education trust for a better community understanding of road safety issues that affect them in the country.
He pointed out that Namibia to move away from the current approach stiffer regulatory solutions such as the recent introduction of revised traffic fines are imposed as a means of forcing citizens to comply with the existing laws and regulations.
In his statement the governor said integrated reform is the promotion of road safety in Namibia and that it should be the responsibility of all citizens in order to benefit and call for support by all sectors of the society.
He called on the NRSC together with the line Ministry to seriously introduce institutional reforms that would create a stronger and much visible road safety presence in the regions.
He encouraged his fellow colleagues who were nominated to serve in the regional road safety forum, being the first to work as candidate of specific expectations and all those coming behind to benchmark on them.
He urged them to carry out their responsibilities to the best of their abilities, “We should not forget that this is a service we provide to our own people, our own mothers, fathers, Sisters and brothers,” He said.
Hon. Sampofu urged the NRSC to avail itself in providing direction for the purpose of guiding and mentoring this forum to higher heights.
“The Caprivi Regional Council fully support the initiative and the decade of action for road safety 2011-2020,” He furthered.
In his Keynote address,Chairman of NRSC , Mr. George Simataa informed the gathering that in 2009 Ministers of transport from all over the world convened in Moscow for the purpose of coming up with the resolutions as to how the entire world would address the issue of road safety and the out come of the conference formed of what today called the DECADE OF ACTION FOR ROAD SAFETY 2011-2020 which was declared by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in March 2010.
Following the declaration of the decade of action by the UNGA the government of the Republic of Namibia through the Cabinet decisions 4th / 09.03.10/006 and 23rd /15.12.11/020 approved modalities through which the decade of action is to be implemented.
These decisions on the other hand placed road safety high on the priority list of the government activities hence the commitment and rededication of the NRSC making Namibian roads safer.
“By rolling various programmes in various parts of the country our intension are geared towards achieving improved road safety through targeted specific intervention,” quoted from the speech.
The 2004 World report on injury prevention published by the world health organisation and World Bank highlighted the fundamental role of the lead agency in ensuring effective and efficient functioning of the road safety management system.
Mr. Simataa is convinced that the institutional management function must take the highest priority as it is the foundation on which all other road safety management system are built to reduce the level of intervention that would achieve the desired result.
“To this end we call upon all institutions represented on the Caprivi Regional Road Safety Forum to show sustained commitment by allowing their representatives to attend all subsequent meeting of the forum,” He said .