The Road Development Agency (RDA), in partnership with the Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA), has embarked on a road safety management sensitisation campaign along the Chinsali-Nakonde road, which is currently undergoing rehabilitation.
RDA Regional Human Capital and Administration Officer for Muchinga, Patricia Musukwa, said the road safety management campaign is aimed at empowering residents living around the project area with knowledge on road safety and the importance of safeguarding road furniture.
Ms. Musukwa added that the campaign being done through road shows by Circus Zambia will cover 210 kilometres from Chinsali junction to the border town of Nakonde district along the Great North Road.
She said the campaign seeks to cover 40 communities with the hope of reaching about 45,000 people.
Ms. Musukwa disclosed that the campaign is being done along the African Bank funded road rehabilitation project for both lot one and two due to the works that come with a lot of other activities.
She told ZANIS in an interview that the aim of the awareness campaign among other road safety packages to be conducted during the road project is to reduce the number of deaths caused by road accidents, especially along the stretch being rehabilitated.
Ms. Musukwa further said in line with the campaign, first accident respondents from various government sections have also been trained in three districts which the rehabilitation road project covers.
She named the departments where these first accident respondents are coming from as the Zambia Police traffic department, Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) hospital ambulance crew and officers from the fire department under the councils in Chinsali, Isoka and Nakonde districts.
“The officers have been trained on how to handle accident victims with different injuries,” said Ms. Musukwa.
She added that RDA has also donated machinery to councils in the three districts for use during accidents.
She explained that the equipment will be used to open up vehicles that may be crushed, including rescuing accident victims that may be strapped.
“Fire officers under the three councils in the province have equally been trained on how to operate the same machinery to be used in rescuing people who are strapped as opposed to using axes among other tools,” she said.
And one of the residents in Kafwimbi area, Idah Mulenga, has thanked RDA and its cooperating partners for the embarking on a campaign.
Ms. Mulenga said the programme is a welcome move as it has come at the right time.
She said more lives will be safeguarded now that the residents have been imparted with road safety management knowledge.
“This information that we have received today will go a long way and we will also share with our children and friends in the community who are not here,” said Ms. Mulenga.
She further said the areas along the stretch being rehabilitated and expanded have been experiencing a many accidents, which have consequently led to loss of lives and permanent body deformities among others.
Ms. Mulenga has since urged other residents in the affected areas to follow road safety rules and also safeguard road furniture.
The road safety management campaign being conducted through drama, question and essay competition on road safety and protection of road furniture is targeting schools and communities.