Road Safety initiative launched with funding from the World Bank and the Total Group
The African Road Safety Corridors Initiative has been launched simultaneously in Kenya and Uganda.
The World Bank and Total group funded initiative was launched on Wednesday.
Johannes Zutt, World Bank Country Director for Kenya and Rwanda said the bank estimates 1.3 million people are killed and 50 million more are injured or disabled in motor accidents globally.
He said majority of victims are young pedestrians aged between 20 and 35 years. He says that the highest rate of accidents is in the middle and low-income countries where road safety consciousness and law enforcement are low.
Zutt said Africa was loosing 1-5% of gross domestic product to accidents annually. He expressed fear that the projection indicated that the motor accidents would increase to 66% by 2020 if no action is taken to influence change and behavior on roads.
Under the Northern corridor, the World Bank has injected over US $460m for the construction of the Mombasa-Malaba highway, whose construction has already started from Eldoret.
Uganda first Prime Minister Eriya Kategaya said the concept of road safety is not holistically the responsibility of government alone but it also calls for involvement of development partners.
Uganda Minister of works John Nasasira said for the last 10 years road accidents in Uganda have been increasing up to 14,000.
The minister said in 2009 a total of 22,700 road accidents were registered out of which 2,734 people died.
Kenyan prime minister, Raila Odinga in speech read to him by sports minister Paul Otuoma said Kenya registers over 12,000 accidents annually. He said this involves about 26,000 motor vehicles with 3000, people loosing their lives and over 9000 people get injured.
Alain Champeaux, Total Chief Executive Officer said, his organization has also developed a successful partnership with governments, transport operators business partners and various organization to tackle the motor accident menace through sharing of best practice public education and investment and in community based organization advocating for safer roads.
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