LET’S ALL AIM FOR ZERO DEATHS ON OUR ROADS

Monday November 22 2021
By The Citizen Reporter

Starting 2005, the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the third Sunday of November of each  year to be the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

It so happens that November 21, was the third Sunday of November this year – and, as such, it was the day on which to remember, honour and commemorate “the (human) lives lost or otherwise adversely impacted by or through road accidents” across the world.

According to the Washington-based League of American Bicyclists [#ZEROTRAFFICDEATHS#WDOR2021], about 1.35 million people around the world are killed in road traffic crashes each year – and the number of people dying or being seriously injured from otherwise preventable traffic accidents is rising at an alarming rate”…

Hence the considered need for ways and means of commemorating road accident victims; advocating functional support for road traffic victims and their otherwise hapless families, close relatives and friends, as well as “promoting evidence-based actions to prevent and eventually stop further road traffic deaths and serious injuries”.

We in Tanzania have been taking road traffic safety most seriously in recent years, according to Home Affairs minister George Simbachawene.

That was how and why, for example, there was a 26 percent drop in the number of reported road accidents between July 2019 and March 2020: 1,920 accidents (resulting in 1,084 deaths), compared to 2,593 accidents (and 1,216 deaths) between July 2018 and March 2019.

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As we reported on December 17, 2020 – three days before the 2020 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims – traffic police in Tanzania had pledged to further reduce road traffic accidents and related deaths across the country.

This is indeed possible, as most road traffic accidents result from weaknesses leading to reckless driving, “driving under the influence,” poor road infrastructure and poor vehicular conditions – all of which are correctable.



GRAB AVOCADO OPPORTUNITY

Two reports in our Saturday edition (November 20, 2021) are worth highlighting further. The leading front-page report was about Tanzania seeking to boost and sustain its avocado exports, mostly to South Africa, but also to other export destinations. The other report was on how the country can best benefit from meat exports.

Starting with the latter… Although Tanzania is home to the second largest livestock population in Africa – beaten in that only by Ethiopia – it is yet to fully exploit this huge potential in exports of meat and other livestock-related products.

For example, while Tanzania produces an average of 508,000 tonnes of meat annually, only about 4,000 tonnes of that is exported. This is despite the huge meat demand in Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern consumer markets. Regarding avocados, South Africa has reopened its market to imports of Tanzanian avocados after a decade of technical dilly-dallying.

This is a more-or-less Heaven-sent opportunity for Tanzania to rev-up its avocado exports that are rapidly becoming a money-spinner for forex-starved economies like Tanzania’s.

So, instead of South Africa importing avocados all the way from Spain, it can now get the delicacy from Tanzania, a fellow member-country of SADC virtually next-door.