The Parliamentary Network on Road Safety (LEGIS-SECU-ROUTE), led by Hon. Malomba Esembe Donald, MP for Buea Urban, has embarked on a crusade aimed at drastically reducing the number of road accidents along the highway. The Buea Urban MP has called on all stakeholders of various classes and trades, to ensure in their own way, that they contribute to reducing the number of accidents on roads.
He made the call during a special plenary sitting chaired by the senior vice president of the National Assembly, Hon Hilarion Etong. The sitting on road safety also brought together the Ministers of Transport, Justice, Public Health, Public Works, Finance, Gendarmerie Officials and the civil society to answer questions from the lawmakers. In his opening address, Hon. Malomba Esembe, President of the Parliamentary Network on Road Safety saluted the collaboration between lawmakers and the government bench which he described as formidable.
On the worrisome situation of road accidents, Hon Malomba submitted that “I stand here as a 35-year-old Cameroonian who is frightened by the official statistics of the Ministry of Transport according to which road accidents are the first cause of mortality for young Cameroonians of school-going age: less than 25 years old”. He said if urgent and decisive actions are not taken by 2030, road accidents will be the major cause of death of Cameroonians aged less than 35.”On the effects road accidents may have on the country’s economy, the MP warned that “road accidents with their enormous negative financial, economic, health and social consequences, portend a serious obstacle to the 2035 emergence vision of our country as defined by the Head of State, His Excellency President Paul Biya.” It is for this reason that urgent, concerted action is needed now, he said.
The Parliamentary Network on Road Safety has in recent months organised series of activities across the country to educate and sensitise road users on the dangers of over-speeding, drunk driving, and other related causes of road accidents. The Dschang and Ndikinimiki accident sites of December last year and January this year moved the network president to these scenes to frown at wrong usage of the highway. To the network president, such field visits were unachievable without collaboration.
“Our sincere thanks also go to Members of government involved in the domain of road safety who have constantly opened their doors to us. Sincere gratitude to the Prime Minister and Head of Government who also chairs the National Road Board (CONAROUTE) for his availability and facilitation of the working relationship between the Network and CONAROUTE. I also want to sincerely thank the Minister of State, Minister of Justice and the Ministers of Transport, Defense, Public Works and Health, as well as the Delegate General for National Security for the frank collaboration,” Hon. Malomba said.
In his expose on the state of legislation in Cameroon, government policy on prevention and road safety, including measures taken or envisaged to confront the problem of road accidents in Cameroon, the Minister of Transport, Ngalle Bibehe, said according to a study from CYSCOM, the number of road accidents dropped constantly in Cameroon between 2011 and 2019. From 3525 accidents resulting in 1588 deaths, the number dropped to 1533 accidents resulting in 627 deaths in 2019. He attributed these good results to Cameroon’s alignment of its actions to those of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020). These achievements, he said, resulted in Cameroon, together with Uganda benefitting from the programme Road Safety Performance review in the UN System for road safety. Opening the seminar, the Senior Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Hilarion Etong, declared a minute of silence in memory of Hon. Harouna Bougue Abdoulayewho died in a road accident on 22 July 2020 on the Ngaoundere-Garoua Road No 1. He hailed the initiative of LEGIS-SE-CU-ROUTE in organising the workshop at a time when road insecurity is rife. He cited some of the fatal accidents that have hit Cameroon in recent times, including that on the Falaise Dschang of 27 January 2021 that led to 55 deaths, leaving 18 others injured.