Wednesday, September 17, 2014

CAROSAF & Buea Council Are For Accident-free 2014/15 Academic Year,says Edwin Minang

The Cameroon Road Safety Foundation (CAROSAF), a Buea-based NGO noted for its road safety campaigns has, in partnership with the Buea Road Council, launched a two-week road safety campaign within the Buea municipality, to ensure an accident-free 2014 /2015 back- to- school. The Recorder caught up with Edwin Minang, CAROSAF CEO for an interview.
Below Excerpts:
Edwin Minang
Recorder:Mr. CEO of CAROSAF, why are you so involved in road safety campaign?

 Mr.Minang:  Thank you Mr. Editor for always having interest in our activities, which are very people-and development-oriented.
    As you know we advocate road safety and highway injury prevention; and in line with our objective to raise awareness on road safety we thought it very necessary to re-awaken roads users on safety measures as they use the roads during this period of schools re-opening. You know during this period, there is a lot of movement of people and vehicles - thus increasing the traffic rate on our roads.

I have learnt that this campaign is being carried in partnership with the Buea Council. What role does the Buea Council play here as a partner?
     Sometime in August 2013, the Buea Council and CAROSAF signed a memorandum of partnership, which is intended to ensure in the implementation of road safety measures within the Buea municipality. Within the frame work of this partnership, we are carrying out the school traffic controllers’ project .This project contributes to efforts geared towards protecting vulnerable road users, especially school children. Trained traffic controllers are stationed at selected locations within Buea Township to help cross school children and other road users at traffic peak periods in the morning and afternoon during school days. One year down the line of this partnership alongside the school traffic controllers project we decided to carry out this “Accident – free 2014/2015 Back to school Road Safety campaign which started from the 1st day of school reopening, During this campaign, amongst other things we organize sensitization sessions with Buea township taxi drivers during which road safety stickers will be put on all taxis circulating within the Buea Township; Sensitize inter-city city bus drivers (Agencies de Voyage) and the regular bus drivers who run Buea – Douala – Limbe – Kumba – Tiko. Stickers on Road safety will be placed on their dashboards as a reminder of what they are required to do or observe;walk  along the major roads within Buea municipality .We advise  drivers on the speed limit recommended by Government (90km/h highest) and also place road safety stickers on their cars; Visit driving schools within Buea municipality and discuss  road safety issues with them

What are you particularly emphasizing on during this road safety campaign?.
    I must say speed. Respect for  speed limit is the main aspect that we are emphasizing ,because if speed is respected then the other  aspects of road safety such  drunk– driving, driving  and  telephoning, over-loading ,non- use of seat belt) would have been minimized ;In  an event of an  accident the causality on the cars and persons is minimized. The stickers that we are distributing addresses speed. Those for taxi drivers carry the inscriptions “Taxi drivers, respect speed within the town – 30km/h; those for highway drivers have “Respect speed limit – max. 90km/h”.

What are some of the road safety activities that CAROSAF has been carrying out? 
    We  have conceived developed and are implementing the school traffic controllers’ projects in the Buea and Limbe. Since 2010, we have carried out yearly celebrations of World Day of Remembrance for road traffic victims.
    In collaboration with the Buea council, we served as the technical partner to the administration of the Southwest Region in the organization of the landmark special road safety campaign for the celebration of 50 years of reunification of Cameroon.
    CAROSAF started a pilot school road safety club project in some schools within the Buea municipality.We also get involved in periodic road safety sensitization and syndicates within Fako Division
It would be recalled here that CAROSAF organized road safety sensitization workshop within the Cameroon Development corporation(CDC).We are doing quite a lot ,which we think is being appreciated by the public and the Local administration.

Sir can you tell us about the way forward?
    We intend to broaden the scope of the school traffic controllers projects to cover the entire Southwest region; expand on the school Road safety clubs projects to involve all schools within the entire region situated along major highways and within proximity to crash hotspots,
There is no doubt that CAROSAF will start a program of capacity strengthening of township taxi drivers in the major townships of the Southwest region.
    Let me add here that,in collaboration with the councils, CAROSAF  start a project of road safety crusaders at major motors parks within the Southwest Region; organize a yearly road safety award ceremony. This award recognizes achievements and innovations and I think such will improve road safety within the community.

Is CAROSAF just a Buea –based local NGO on road safety or you have affiliations and international connections?
    Well the headquarters of CAROSAF is in Buea where our office is, precisely the FAKO SHIP Plaza Building. Created since 2008, Cameroon Road Safety Foundation is affiliated to the following organizations:1) Global road safety partners – GRSP; 2) Africa road safety NGO network (here the coordinator of CAROSAF is the 2st secretary general; (3) global road safety  NGO network;(4) COALIROWE  ( a coalition of road safety NGO in Cameroon).

Has your NGO had the opportunity to take part in some international conferences?
     Of course! CAROSAF has participated in several international road safety meetings and conferences. For example, from November 9-11, 2011 CAROSAF was present during the second African road safety conference in ADDIS – ABABA Ethiopia during which the African Action Plan for the Decade of Action for road safety was declared. From July 16-18, 2013, CAROSAF attended the expert review meeting on the implementation of the Amity Program of Action concerning and small island in Africa – Addis Ababa
Again in 2014 (i.e. from 17-19 June) CAROSAF was present at the Africa road safety management work shop in Ethiopia and also attended the Regional Forum on Cross – Border Transport Infrastructure in Africa, Ethiopia

 From the balance sheet you just presented, it seems your NGO has come to stay?
    CAROSAF is a problem-solving NGO, and so long as the problems we try to resolve are there, we shall stay on. We are determined to leaves our foot prints on the sands of time, by contributing our quota to development and the promotion of long live. Life is so short, so we must all be very careful as we try to get the best of life.    
(First published in The RECORDER Newspaper,Cameroon ,of September 15,2014)

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