lEast African Community (EAC) Secretary General Libérat Mfumukeko, has stressed on the need for EAC member states to work closely in order to improve road safety and transport infrastructure in the bloc.
In his condolence message to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta following the aftermath of the Kericho bus tragedy that occurred last Wednesday, the Burundian diplomat described the accident as a yet another call to all EAC partner states to continue to work together in curbing the scourge of road accidents.
“We have lost too many lives in the recent past; this, therefore calls for an urgent need for member states to continue to work together improving transport infrastructure,” he observed.
In the same vein, the secretary general commiserated with the families that lost their loved ones in last Wednesday’s tragic road accident at Fort Ternan in Kericho that left 56 people dead.
“On behalf of the EAC and on my own behalf, I convey my heartfelt condolences to your Excellency, and through you to: the bereaved families, relatives and friends of the passengers, the government and the people of Kenya,” condoled the
EAC secretary general.
Road fatalities are said to reduce the economic output of EAC countries by about $115.6 million per year according to Trade Mark East Africa(TMEA) assuming average productivity per person lost to a road traffic fatality.
The people lost would more than likely have long lives resulting in an estimated $5 billion worth of lifetime productivity from each year’s cohort of road traffic fatalities spread throughout the EAC.
Traffic crashes, a broader estimate shows, result in $1.7 billion in economic losses per year in the EAC in the most recent year’s data, according to TMEA.
In 2012, the EAC launched a massive harmonisation of transportation regulations strongly focused on improving road safety.
Harmonisation of laws helps share best practices across the countries in increasing road safety and reducing fatalities.
The bloc also developed a standardised driving training course, curriculum, and instructor’s manual for drivers of large commercial vehicles in January 2015.
Improvement of the quality of roads and other transportation facilities is said to be a very high priority to the EAC and its member states and citizens can expect further progress on this issue as many improvements have been made already.
A World Health Organisation (WHO) report published in 2013 estimates that some 1.24 million people lose their lives on the world’s roads each year, with a further 20 to 50 million people suffering injury and/or disability.
The report also indicates that 90 per cent of these deaths occur in developing countries where road traffic crashes are now the leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 29.
Source: Mkarimu Media and News Agencies