Kenya’s leading mobile phone service provider Safaricom has partnered with Media Owners Association (MOA), private and public organisations to spearhead a nationwide road safety campaign to minimise road carnage on Kenyan roads that keeps on claiming lives each day.
The initiative, dubbed National Road Safety Trust, has attracted Trustees representatives from Media Owners Association, police, government and various road safety stakeholders — as well as other private sectors to coordinate the activities of the organization and be in charge for a 2-year renewable tenure.
Safaricom’s chief executive and Trust co-founder Bob Collymore said road carnage in the country is a national disaster as at least 10 people succumb to death on a daily basis.
Critics say the efforts in curbing the disaster are less aggressive compared to terror-related activities that kill an estimated 30 to 40 people each year.
During the first stakeholders forum, the group said they have already sent an invitation to Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki to represent the Trust as the patron. It also revealed that plans are underway to launch the campaign later this month.
The National Road Safety Trust’s is tasked at advocating for road safety behaviour, drafting sustainable road safety and traffic campaigns in addition to road safety educational program.
Media Owners Association chairman Kiprono Kittony said the government has concentrated on infrastructural development while neglecting educating the public on how to deal with such things .
He added that public education and awareness will be important in diminishing the ever rising cases of road accidents especially on Thika Super Highway
Traffic commandant Benson Kibui praised those steering the programme and vowed to implement a wide range of reforms in his unit to offer all the support to the Trust.
The Media Owners Association’s former chairman Wachira Waruru promised that the association would provide print and electronic coverage during that period of campaign to ensure the information reaches out to many people.
Waruru said: “Kenyans should know that the issue of road safety is a matter of life and death. Let’s take precaution to save our lives and On behalf of the Media Owners Association, we will set aside all the necessary resources to make this campaign a success.”
Late last year, the country’s traffic department released a report on road accidents which revealed that pedestrians accounted for half the number of deaths recorded on Kenyan roads as a result of not observing road safety rules.
Around 3,200 people lost their lives through road accidents. An estimated 1,500 were pedestrians. There was increase in the number of fatalities as compared with the previous year, which recorded 3056 casualties.