Lusaka, Saturday, 7th May, 2016. The Zambia Road Safety Trust has launched a Road Safety Strategy 2020 to support the Zambian government fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) and halve road injury and death in line with Decade of Action by 2020. The strategy positively acknowledged by government not only establishes this target, but also identifies actions to achieve it.
Road crashes are now one of the leading causes of death in Zambia behind malaria and HIV/AIDS. Over 2,000 people are killed every year, in mostly preventable and avoidable accidents leaving many thousands seriously injured.
Zambia Road Safety Trust strategy 2020 was launched on Thursday, 5th May 2016 at Lusaka Grand Hotel in Lusaka.
Puma Energy Zambia Plc Chairman, Mr. Jacob Jones Sikazwe, said:
“I am pleased for the support that our company has rendered to the Zambia Road Safety Trust to improve road safety in Zambia. Last year, PUMA Energy Foundation, the philanthropic arm of PUMA Energy, our global company, partnered with the Zambia Road Safety Trust and successfully launched the Child Road Safety Programme in Zambia benefiting about 20,000 primary school children. This year, we have continued that partnership by extending the support to copperbelt province starting with Fredrick Chiluba Primary School in Ndola which has over 3000 pupils.
“With our drivers making about 8,900 trips every month as they transport thousands of our products by road; we are alarmed by rates of road traffic deaths in the country. This has led us to embark on a series of campaigns to promote safer roads in Zambia”.
World Health Organisation (WHO) representative in Zambia, Dr. Jacob Mufunda said:
“The initiative of developing the Road Safety Strategy 2020 is really a great step in the right direction as it conforms to the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 -2020. However, the challenge will be to ensure that plans and targets as defined in the strategy are achieved through providing needed expertise to respond”.
Zambia Road Safety Trust Chairman, Daniel Mwamba, said:
“This Road Safety Strategy 2020 provides a framework for the Trust to communicate and implement our road safety initiatives on a national and local level. We want to support the government target of the Decade of Action to cut the number of those killed or seriously injured by 50 per cent by 2020. In real numbers that is a total reduction of 10,000 casualties over the life time of the strategy.
“A co-ordinated effort in the education of road users, targeting specifically those identified most vulnerable groups, with a range of activities, interventions and publicity that results in behavioural change forms the core of today’s road safety strategy.”
Speaking at the same event, NGOCC Board Secretary Mrs. Patricia Mubanga lamented that her organisation is deeply concerned about the increase in the number of women and children reportedly killed and injured in road accidents.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Mr. Misheck Lungu, said:
“The Road Strategy 2020 by the Zambia Road Safety Trust will make an important contribution to the cause of reducing accidents in the country. Road safety is everybody’s business – we all have a stake in making our roads as safe as they can be.
“The government is especially concerned about the safety of people travelling on long distance buses. Following the death of 31 people in the road accidents that happened in April, the government has put in place measures that will prevent such incidents to happen in the future”.