Launched on May 22, 2015 by the Minister of Public Works, the structure is to help in analyzing the causes of accidents and proffering adequate solutions.
As part of the World Bank-funded project to facilitate trade between Cameroon, Chad and the Central African Republic, a workshop for the conception and putting in place of a Centralised Database Analysis Centre On Road Accidents in the country was launched in Yaounde on Friday, May 22, 2015. The centre is expected to go operational in 20 months and eventually become a research facility at the National Aanced School of Public Works, ENSTP, Elig-Effa, Yaounde.
Speaking during the launch at the Mont Febe Hotel, the Minister of Public Works, Patrice Amba Salla, said the centre, to be hosted by ENSTP, is to gather and analyse data on the causes of road accidents. Thereafter, recommendations will be made and appropriate measures taken to correct the situation. He disclosed that the trade facilitation project worth FCFA 230 billion that lasts from 2007-2016, has 5 per cent of the funds going for the road safety component (FCFA 11.5 billion), while trade takes 95 per cent. Police and gendarmerie officials are to feed the database with information, while the Ministries of Transport and Public Health are to be closely involved.
Minister Amba Salla disclosed that road accidents cost the country 1.8 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, GDP, yearly, thereby necessitating the decision of government and its partners to step up efforts in preventing them. Earlier, Peter Taniform, a senior transport specialist with the World Bank Group Cameroon Office, reminded the gathering that road safety is a major concern world-wide because 1.3 million people die every year. In Cameroon, 12 people perish as a result of road accidents every day, most of them motorbike riders and pedestrians, Taniform disclosed. Without meaningful changes in attitudes and the necessary political will, the impact on society and the economy will become worse, he warned.
According to the World Bank expert, government’s road safety efforts between 2009 and 2014 led to a 26 per cent fall in accidents and 21 per cent for deaths. Meanwhile, a World Health Organisation report says Cameroon lost about 1,260 lives to road accidents in 2010. The Italian Ambassador to Cameroon, Her Excellency Mrs. Samuela Isopi, described the engagement of her country’s consultants for the project as the opening of a new chapter in economic relations between Italy and Cameroon.
The project consultants are from the Research Centre for Transport and Logistics of the ‘Sapienza’ University, Rome, Italy. They are to be supported by the Dutch Institute of Road Safety Research and the Belgian Institute of Road Safety. A PowerPoint projection at the launch presented the cost and consequences of road accidents such as the loss of economic capacity, road and vehicle destruction and medical bills.
Source : Cameroon Tribune