NYP Embarks Road Safety Campaign

Monday, November 16, 2009

The National Youth Parliament of The Gambia, with support from ELTON over the weekend embarked on a road safety sensitisation programme and road traffic sign painting in the form of a march-past from Elton Station on Kairaba Avenue to the Youth Monument where speeches were delivered.

Addressing the gathering at the venue, Mr. Momodou Senghore, the Director General of the National Roads Authority, who represented the Minister of Works, said the aim of the sensitisation is to enhance their collective capacity for consolidating the gains of earlier initiatives, and addressing future challenges regarding road safety in The Gambia.

Mr. Senghore, however, noted that from available statistics in excess of million of people die, and fifty million injured in road crashes world wide, of which the sub-Saharan Africa accounts for over 80%. "Road crashes are number one killer of young people aged 10 and 25, and ECOWAS countries are among low and middle income countries that accounts for 80% of global deaths from road crashes, the majority of which are predictable and preventable," he disclosed.

World wide, he added, there is increasing call for greater international efforts to develop preventive strategy based on a lead agency responsible for developing a multi-sectoral, safe system approach to reverse trends of rising road traffic injuries.

He reiterated his Ministry?s full commitment to this initiative and collaboration with stakeholders involved to ensure that all necessary efforts are made to encourage active participation, geared towards the betterment of road safety situation in The Gambia.

Speaking earlier, Yusupha Sanyang, the Deputy Mayor of Kanifing Municipal Council stated that the issue of road safety is a global phenomenon and cannot be addressed without collective responsibility and approach, noting that young people always fall victims of road accidents.

According to Deputy Mayor Sanyang, all institutions have a role to play in combating road safety and the government represent the interest of its citizens.

He implored youths to take their lives seriously whenever it comes to road safety, as they are the creams of society.

He said most of the road accidents in the country are due to careless and reckless driving, commending the National Youth Parliament for all their efforts in contributing to national development.

Momodou Gassama, the Communication Officer at the WHO Office in The Gambia, said 1.2 million people die annually due to road crashes.

He added that World Health Organisation also recommended to member states to adopt to certain recommendations so as to prevent road crashes, which claims lives of many innocent people.

He said road safety is a multi-lateral approach that needs all hands on desk to campaign for preventable crashes.

For his part, Abdoulie Faye, the Programme Officer at the National Youth Council also spoke about the danger of road accidents.

Author: Sainey MK Marenah