By: Musa O. Bah
The Ministry of Transportation, Works and Infrastructure in collaboration with The Gambia Ports Authority (GPA) on Sunday Observed the World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims, held at the Buffer Zone.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Interior, Honourable Siaka Sonko said that based on the available data The Gambia is ranked among the countries with the highest road crashes globally.
“To minimize road crashes in The Gambia, the Gambia Police in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, NRA, General Transport Union and other relevant stakeholders have conducted community outreach programs in many schools and communities within the country to raise public awareness.”
He noted that the Ministry of Transport, Works and Infrastructure and NRA have donated two motor vehicles to the Gambia Police Force as a means to minimize road crashes.
On his part, Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, Ebrima Sillah, anticipated that shortly, a dedicated road safety lead agency will be set up to solely deal with road safety matters in the country.
He revealed that the Gambia appeared to have a serious road safety problem. Adding that according to the official statistics obtained from the police, from the year 2011 to 2021, on average, about 121 people died annually as a result of road traffic accidents in The Gambia.
“Similarly, during the eleven years on average, 821 road traffic crashes occurred annually. Over the same period, 2738 people sustained serious injuries.
“The situation seems to be even worsening looking at the statistics of 2021. A total of 1218 road crashes occurred, 155 people died and 440 people sustained serious injuries,” he said.
More so, Alieu Touray, a road traffic victim in the year 2012 narrated his story saying in March 2012 when a vehicle with high speed drove off the road at Fula Bantang village ran over an old woman who died on the spot and he knocked him while standing at the police station door.
“This was a terrible day in my life. My leg was broken twice which led to my amputation below the knee. I do my transition and also access a prosthetic leg which I have been using for 10 years now,” he emotionally explained.