Namibia mourns crash victims at Casablanca

10 Mar 2016 18:40pm
CASABLANCA, 10 MAR (NAMPA) – Over 100 people have lost their lives in road crashes since the start of this year, the chief executive officer of the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund says.
Rosalia Martins-Hausiku said this means that by the end of the year, more than 1 000 people could have died in road crashes.
She was speaking on Thursday during the mass memorial service for 15 people killed in a head-on collision between a truck and a mini-bus near the Oshikoto Region’s Casablanca settlement on the Omuthiya-Oshivelo main road.
The memorial service took place on the site of the crash that occurred on 12 February this year and was attended by hundreds of people from all over Namibia.
Martins-Hausiku pointed out that the loss of lives on Namibian roads remains high, and “it is 95 per cent as a result of the attitude of drivers”.
Citing MVA statistics, she said Namibia on average goes through some 7 000 crashes every year on its road network, with 4 000 people sustaining injuries and about 700 fatalities in road carnage.
On his part, Works and Transport Minister Alpheus !Naruseb, who officiated at the memorial service, said the crash was a disaster and its impact was felt by the whole country.
!Naruseb used the same memorial service to repeat his call for road users to change their mindset and to do things differently, starting by doing away with offensive driving.
“Young people, who have the great potential to grow up and make meaningful contributions to the development of the country, are being increasingly killed in road crashes,” the minister said.
He, at the same time, appealed to every Namibian to be a safe observant on the road.
Also speaking at the event, Inspector-General (IG) of the Namibian Police Force (NamPol), Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga said analysis on the bodies of 13 people who burned beyond recognition in that crash, has been completed as of Thursday.
Ndeitunga pointed out that all 13 bodies have been positively identified, and the respective families can now do the burials.
The deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) tests took almost a month to complete and, as such, Ndeitunga tendered NamPol’s apology for the delay.