Namibia's roads are risky for travellers

30 November 2018 | Accidents

Namibia is as safe as China when it comes to security, according to a new interactive map showing risk levels around the world, but road safety in the country poses a high risk to travellers.

The 2019 Travel Risk Map was prepared by the global risk experts International SOS in collaboration with Control Risks.

It shows the latest medical, road-safety and security risk ratings of destinations worldwide.

It shows the danger level in each country based on the current threat posed to travellers through political violence such as terrorism, insurgency, politically motivated unrest and war.

It also measures social unrest including sectarian, communal and ethnic violence and violent and petty crime.

Further factors such as the robustness of the transport infrastructure, the state of industrial relations, the effectiveness of the security and emergency services and the country's susceptibility to natural disasters were also taken into consideration.

The map lists five categories of risk: insignificant, low, medium, high and extreme.

The map indicates that Namibia has a low security risk, while the medical risk in the country is rated as medium. However, Namibia's road safety is rated as a high risk for travellers.

Apart from Namibia, the UK, Iran, Georgia, the USA, Canada Azerbaijan, Armenia and Uzbekistan also fall in the low category when it comes to the security risk.

These are countries where there is still a low rate of violent crime and they also have efficient transport and emergency services.

India and major parts of Russia and Brazil fall into the medium category and in these countries political unrest and violent protests are higher. Also their security and emergency services and infrastructure may vary from place to place.

The security risk for travellers in Turkmenistan and Saudi Arabia is described as “average”.

Countries such as Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan, on the other hand, are described as “dangerous”.

“Extreme risk” countries are almost exclusively in Africa and the Middle East, including Syria, Yemen, Libya, South Sudan and Somalia.

The highest level of political violence and social unrest, including sectarian, communal and ethnic violence, occurs in this category. Also, government and transport services are barely functional.

Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and Finland are among the countries where the security risk is “insignificant”. These countries have effective emergency and transport services too.

In the category of health, the countries with the highest risk of contracting disease include South Sudan, Niger, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone.

Iraq was also labelled a high-risk country in the health category, along with Lebanon, Venezuela and North Korea.

In contrast, most European states, as well as Canada, the United States, New Zealand and Japan, have a low risk of disease.

Looking at road safety, the majority of countries in Africa pose a very high risk to travellers. Outside Africa the riskiest roads are in Brazil, Bolivia, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Kazakhstan.

Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria all ranked high in each of the three categories, meaning they are the most dangerous.

At the opposite end of the scale, Norway, Finland and Iceland are all deemed to have a low risk of medical problems, security and road accidents, meaning they are the safest.

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