From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Civil Society Engages Members on Road Safety
By Mohamed Kabba
Sep 21, 2010, 10:42

In an effort¬† to complement governmentís community sensitization drive on road safety, Coalition of Civil Society for Peace and Development (CSOPAD) has conducted training exercise for fifty (50) members drawn from the different organisation that comprise the coalition in the Bombali District.¬† The session which took place on Friday 17th¬†September, 2010 at their No. 6 Mabanta Road Office in Makeni targeted grass root civil society organizations, focused on road safety and leadership capacity building.¬† The training it self came as a sequel to the many recent road accidents along the highways in the Bombali District, and it was expected to empower community members on the importance of road precautions.¬† The Coalition also thought it fit to include in the training exercise general community development initiatives through capacity building.

The Administrative Secretary of the Peace and Development Coalition who coordinated the session, SLAJ Northern Regional Chairman, Stanley Bangura Jr. underpinned the importance of the training programme to participants in his opening speech. He described it as timely given the spate of road accidents in recent times. He said it was part of their commitment as an organisation in nation building especially in the area of road safety campaigns, leadership training, etc. ďAs a Civil Society, we are very critical of developments within the community, and we are sure that with this training on the role of the Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority, the observance of traffic rules and respect for road signs, the incidences of accidents will be reduced in the district.

Lecturing participants on road safety and traffic rules and regulation, the District Supervisor for Traffic Wardens, Abu Bakarr Bangura (TW 3) said all road users are required to be very careful on the road as they are expected to observe all road signs and safety mechanisms, and especially for drivers that travel with lives and properties. He said for pedestrians they must ensure that they walk on the foot path, use the zebra crossing path, and avoid talking on mobile phone on the streets.¬† ďAs road users, pedestrians have the responsibility to ensure that their lives come first among other things,Ē he told the participants, while advising that drivers and riders must always be in possession of their licenses for inspection in case of accidents.¬†

The regional Driversí Union accident officer Alie Abalaku Kamara stated in his presentation that the training was more important for them that always use the road. He thanked his colleagues for forming the Coalition, as he took the opportunity to call on other civil society groups to work with the coalition for national development.

On leader
ship, the regional coordinator for CEFORD who also doubles as the coalitionís assistant secretary, Alhaji Musa Conteh noted that it is bestowed on someone with the ability to influence and motivate others towards development and good governance. He said competence in good leaders depend on self respect, good performance, effective collaboration and in someone with good listening skills. The training is expected to be replicated in other districts within the northern region.

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