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Tuesday 15 October 2019
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N$5 million spent to keep 64 police officers 24/7

By Megameno Shikwambi

The National Road Safety Council has said that it has forked out a total of N$5 million just to keep 64 police officers on the road on a constant basis in a bid to control traffic on the country’s roads to reduce accidents and fatalities.
The council’s chairperson, Eugene Tendekule made this revelation before the parliamentary Standing committee on Economics yesterday at the National Council.
For the last five years since 2014 as per public statistics the council, the number of fatalities increased until last year, the National Safety Road Council said.
The council chairperson said they were disturbed and tired of seeing fatality statistics going up which prompted them to request a contingent of the police force to stay on the road 24/7.
The council said from September last year, the Namibian police availed to them 64 members who got deployed in August until the Inspector General withdrew them due to logistical issues within the force.
He said they were later redeployed as of September last year up to February this year.
Meanwhile, the custodian of road safety John Mutorwa said he has called on the MVA in Rundu to conduct research to determine the causes of road crashes in Namibia. This research, he said, will be finalized in September 2020.
He said the research is retrospective and prospective in nature, meaning that it will look at past and future crashes to look up the facts on the circumstances surrounding these crashes.
This, Mutorwa said, will go a long way because for the first time as role players, Namibia will be investing in data led and evidence based interventions that bring about lasting solutions.
The Fund has also placed its commitment towards emergency response and enhancing access to quality health care of those injured in road crashes.
Let’s take a look at the latest statistics for the whole of 2019.
According to the MVA CEO, Rosalia Martins-Hausiku, statistics collated by the MVA Fund Call Centre since the beginning of the year to date, show that 3 946 persons were injured in 2 444 crashes, while as a nation, Namibia has lost 396 lives.
This in effect means that compared to the same time in 2018, crashes declined by 7%; injuries increased by 1%, and fatalities increased by 3%.
Martins-Hausiku said these statistics indicate that crashes continue to prevail while injuries are becoming more severe, placing more strain on available resources in the currently difficult financial times. Yet authorities that are dealing with national road safety are working in silos, the road safety council told parliamentarians this week. Road safety is under the auspices of not only the council, but the MVA, RA and the Namibian police, which makes it hard when it comes who exactly is accountable for what.
This has caused several problems.
Works minister John Mutorwa has weighed in on the latest high statistics of road fatalities recorded recently where dozens of Namibians lost their lives on the country’s roads.
Speaking recently at Mariental, the minister recounted Friday the 13th of September 2019 as having been a very dark day on the country’s roads, 13 young lives were lost in a horrific crash.
Mutorwa said this crash brought the number of lives lost on Namibian roads over the past three weeks to 80.
He said, “These and many other crashes on our public roads continue to rob us of men, women and children who in essence are part and parcel of our socio-economic agenda. I am informed that until Sunday, 15th of September 2019, 424 lives were lost as a result of road crashes.”
Mutorwa is the custodian of road safety in the country, and he was speaking at the 2nd Women in Road Safety conference being held in the Hardap Region, in the town of Mariental.
The event was themed, “Women Influence for Safe Roads”, and the minister said it clearly spoke to raising awareness and consciousness on how Namibia can make her roads safe for road users especially the vulnerable, being the children, the old and pedestrians alike.
Mutorwa said the stance as a nation should be that of zero tolerance towards injury and loss of life on the roads.
“If we all take a shared responsibility, we can and will reduce the number of fatalities, injuries and crashes. I am reliably informed that as a public entity, the MVA Fund has for many years been reaching out a helping hand as the first insurer to those affected by road crashes, by compensating and supporting them in such times of need as well as assisting the injured through rehabilitation and walking with them on their journey to independence. This is also evident through their ongoing promotion of road safety and public awareness,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mutorwa said he has called on the MVA in Rundu to conduct research to determine the causes of road crashes in Namibia.
This research, he said, will be finalized in September 2020.
He said the research is retrospective and prospective in nature, meaning that it will look at past and future crashes to lock up the facts on the circumstances surrounding these crashes.
This, Mutorwa said, will go a long way because for the first time as role players, Namibia will be investing in data led and evidence based interventions that bring about lasting solutions.
The Fund has also placed its commitment towards emergency response and enhancing access to quality health care of those injured in road crashes.




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