The Gambia Family Planning Association (GFPA) last Thursday sensitised drivers, ‘chef de garages’, teachers and security officers on road safety and others. The training was held in Farafenni, North Bank Region, as part of the Trans-Gambia Corridor Project.
The forum discussed traffic rules and regulations, defensive driving, significance of insuring vehicles and the prevention of sexually transmitted infections particularly HIV/AIDS.
In his opening address, the executive director of GFPA Yankuba Dibba commended the African Development Bank and the Government of The Gambia for funding the project.
“The Trans-Gambia Corridor is a continuation of an international road project that runs from Cairo to Nigeria,” he revealed.
Mr. Dibba further explained that the project entails the construction of a bridge at the YelliTenda/BambaTenda crossing point, feeder roads connecting some communities to the main road and a market in Kerr Ayib and Misra, as well as awareness creation campaign on HIV/AIDS, road safety and gender.
Reports indicated that each year over 1000 road traffic accidents occur in The Gambia. These accidents kill more than 100 people and injure or disable more than 300.
An expert in road safety and defensive driving, Alhaji Lang K Konteh, said the expected surge in traffic accidents warrants the need to boost the understanding of road users on positive traffic conducts and preventive measures. He cited distractions, fatigue, alcohol and drug abuse as leading causes of traffic accidents and advised drivers to be focused, abstemious and active when driving. Mr. Conteh further urged ‘chef de garages’ to be vigilant in ensuring road safety.
The lead consultant, Foma Ceesay, and a sociologist by training, described road safety as everybody’s business and enjoined the trainees to heed to lessons learnt and disseminate the knowledge gained among their peers and in their respective communities.
The participants, including drivers at garages in Farafenni, at the end of the forum were given first aid kits, T-shirts and caps bearing traffic messages.
Out of seven NGOs that tendered for the contract, the GFPA was contracted to conduct awareness campaign on road safety, HIV/AIDS and gender issues in the project implementation zone.