Jul 12, 2013, 11:31 AM
The National Youth Parliament and Gambia Red Cross Society recently launched the world crossing campaign to improve road safety.
The campaign was launched with a press briefing held at the Youth Parliament office in Serrekunda.
Lamin Saidykhan, administrative secretary of the National Youths Parliament (NYP), described the media as vital partners in informing and educating the public on road safety.
He said the NYP and the Gambia Red Cross Society’s National Youth Commission some time ago signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), with the aim of addressing various issues concerning young people, especially on road safety.
He says the partnership work is to inspire and empower young people in The Gambia to take up responsibilities and to advocate for safer roads.
For his part, Saika K. Dibba, winner of the World Cross Campaigning, who doubles as the coordinator of the project, described the project as historic.
He said the purpose of the gathering was to brief journalists about their activities and their plans.
He told journalists that the press briefing will be followed by series of media campaigns both with the electronic and print media with the aim at raising awareness on road safety and to provide the public the opportunity to participate and clear their doubt when it comes to road safety. He said they would also train schoolchildren on road safety.
“The reason being is for them to know their role and responsibility in sensitizing the masses,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Momodou Gassama, WHO Communication Officer, thanked the organisers of holding the press briefing.
The importance of the forum cannot be overemphasise as far as road safety is concerned, he says, adding that road safety should be everybody’s concern.
“It is a step in the right direction for young people organising such a forum,” he noted.
WHO, he notes, has been monitoring all youth activities, but this is the best way of senstising the public by involving the media in the campaign.
He further raised concern on the rampant road traffic accidents on the roads, adding that
there should be multi-sectoral disciplinary mechanism to monitor and address issues on road safety.
“Speeding is a killer, this is why WHO is concerned in the sense that people are dying on the road as of result of over speeding,” he said. “WHO estimated that over 1.2 million people die every year as a result of road traffic crisis.”
He added that WHO again estimated that over one thousand young people over the age of twenty five die every single day as a result of road traffic crisis globally.