MVA Fund, in collaboration with its road safety partners, namely National Road Safety Council, AA Namibia, GIZ, Roads Authority and Private Sector Road Safety Forum launched a Community Safety Marshall Programme at Akuniihole Primary School in Oshana region on 27 September 2021.

The public-private partnership initiative aims to improve road safety education and information at community level, as well as develop and implement community road safety programmes. The ultimate goal is to reduce road traffic injuries and fatalities involving vulnerable road users and empower communities to become safety educators.

Akuniihole Community Primary School is the first beneficiary of this project, due to the high risk of pedestrian-related crashes involving school children in the school vicinity. Oshana’s Deputy Director of Education, Hilma Nuunyango-George said some schools such as Akuniihole are located near a highway, making it unsafe for children to cross the road to and from school every day. “Losing a child is difficult, not only to the parents but to the school and community at large. It is more traumatizing for learners who witnessed these accidents and are left with no choice but to continue crossing the same road,” said Nuunyango-George.

 According to Ondangwa Rural Councilor, Hon. Abraham Kaushiweni, the region’s fatality rate stands at 258 per 100,000 populations, indicating that the region is in a road safety crisis. Kaushiweni further stated that the high fatality rate involving youth between 17 and 35 years recorded during 2020 is worrisome and that the initiative will deter the current situation.

“The successful implementation of the programme will bring community members to the forefront of preserving lives, through focused and consistent road safety initiatives. We are therefore thankful for this good gesture by MVA Fund, which aims to save the Namibian child,” said Hon. Kaushiweni.

 The Fund believes that collaborated and reinforced initiatives such as these will accelerate action towards building a culture of safety in our communities. The Fund, therefore, calls on community members to become active participants and implementers of road safety initiatives in Namibia.

 At the same event, the Private Sector Road Safety Forum with the generous assistance of GIZ donated four bicycles to the men who volunteered to help the children at the pedestrian crossing. The learners also received reflective bibs from AA Namibia to ensure visibility when crossing the road.

 As a key player in road safety, the launch demonstrates the Fund’s continuous efforts to improve and entrench a sustainable road safety culture for the welfare and well-being of all road users.