Safety and learning goes hand in hand

29 October 2019 | Youth

Michelline Nawatises

Africa has the world’s highest road traffic injury rates and Namibia has one of the highest levels of road traffic injuries on the continent.

Road traffic injuries are a huge burden on our economy, and more importantly, on our people.

Last year in Namibia, 571 people were killed on the country’s roads. Among the most vulnerable are child pedestrians, who face grave risks just walking to and from school every day.

At AI Steenkamp Primary School, situated in Windhoek, six pupils have been injured in road traffic incidents over the past five years.

This is why the Private Sector Road Safety Forum (PSRSF), the international road safety NGO called Amend, the Puma Energy Foundation and the FIA Foundation are working in partnership on an important road safety programme at the school.

An improvement in infrastructure was launched on 24 September at the school.

AI Steenkamp principal Rudolfine Kamahene said most accidents occur when children commute to school.

“Schools are meant to be a safe place in and around the premises and the greatest priority for us is the safety of the learners,” she said.

Windhoek mayor Muesee Kazapua believes the programme will be a great success and ensure that the safety of the country’s future leaders is a priority.

“Holistically in Namibia it is worrisome when it comes to road safety, as most victims are learners. An initiative of this magnitude is important to expose this awareness to the learners and road users, as they are careless when it comes to road safety,” he said.

He said the City of Windhoek has approved a non-motorised transport strategy that provides pedestrian and cycling lines.

The PSRSF was established in 2013 as a link between the private sector and government organisations that are active in the road safety sector. In partnership with Amend, it provides basic road safety education training to primary learners and has trained 19 000 learners to date.