LafargeHolcim Cement Limited (LH) on Friday launched a K50 million ($85,120.9) LafargeHolcim Road Safety Programme to reduce unnecessary loss of lives and injuries on the country’s roads.
Speaking at the launch of the programme in Blantyre, Minister of Transport and Public Works Francis Kasaila said it is shocking that road accidents are increasing every year despite combined interventions by government and the private sector.
He said road accidents are having a negative impact on the economy, hence the need for the sustained enforcement of traffic laws, civic education and sensitisation of road users.
Kasaila said the ministry has over the years developed a number of programmes aimed at ensuring safety of road users.
The minister cited road safety awareness and training of road users through media outlets and school pupils nationwide.
“Through the same initiatives, we have developed a road safety handbook, driver training handbook, vehicle testing manual and we have also finalised the review of the Highway Code.
“All these initiatives are aimed at improving road safety situation in the country,” said Kasaila.
But he emphasised that the role of the private sector remains key to the successful implementation of the National Road Safety Strategy, which aims to reduce incidents of road accidents in the country.
He, therefore, commended LH for “joining the bandwagon of the few private sector institutions playing a vital role in supporting road safety activities”.
LH managing director Ilse Boshoff said statistics indicate that with a population of 16 million people, at least three people are killed while three others are injured every day on the country’s roads.
She said to reverse the trend, LH will ensure that three senior safety managers dedicate their energies towards management of road safety.
LH will also mount three checkpoints at Mwanza, Balaka and Dedza, among other interventions.
“It is not enough though, thus we would like to ask for the support of everybody in the exercise to save a life,” she said. n