‘Easter is not the time for drinking and partying’

Shirley Magazi

Coalition of Christian Churches and Organisations chairperson Shirley Magazi has encouraged Namibians to spend the Easter weekend doing introspection instead of drinking and partying.

“We do not celebrate Easter weekend, rather the passover and remembrance of the death of Jesus Christ and how it brought us victory over sin,” she says.

She urges young people to go to church and seek God.

Meanwhile, Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund chief executive Rosalia Martins-Hausiku and Khomas police spokesperson Silas Shipandeni have cautioned the public to be ‘journey prepared’ in order to avoid the loss of life on the roads this Easter weekend.

Martins-Hausiku says historic data has shown that the likelihood of motor vehicle crashes occurring increases over holiday seasons such as during Independence Day, mid-term break, public holidays, school holidays and mostly during the Easter weekend.

“This period is generally characterised by a surge in traffic volumes, especially on the B1 route passing through Windhoek leading to either the southern or northern direction, while more congestion is expected on the B2 route, leading to the coastal part of the country.

“The Easter weekend in the past been perceived as some of the darkest in Namibia, as many lives have been lost and many more people left with varying degrees of injuries,” Martins-Hausiku says.

According to crash statistics recorded during the 2023 Easter weekend, five people died in 35 crashes, while 106 others sustained various degrees of injuries, she adds.

Rosalia Martins-Hausiku

Martins-Hausiku says road safety partners initiated heightened roadblock activations to mitigate the potential consequences of crashes, injuries and fatalities during Easter.

The initiative, which will be implemented by the MVA in collaboration with traffic law enforcement, will focus on journey preparedness with special emphasis on vehicle and driver fitness and passenger safety along the B1 (Otjozondjupa, Oshikoto, Oshana and Ohangwena), B2 (Otjozondjupa to Erongo), B6 (Khomas to Omaheke) and B14 (Grootfontein to Gobabis) roads, she says.

“Similarly, the Nedbank Namibian Newspaper Cup will take place at Gobabis (B6 and B14) this weekend, with anticipated increased traffic flow on these roads.

“Furthermore, in its ongoing drive to inculcate a road safety culture in which motorists and passengers travel safely to their destinations, the fund unceasingly enforces its #ClickForLife Campaign,” she says.

The campaign, which creates awareness on the benefits of correctly using safety belts and child restraints, does not eliminate other risk factors, such as speeding, drunken-driving and fatigue, Martins-Hausiku adds.

According to Shipandeni, the Namibian Police expect a larger number of people to move from one destination to another and that could mean an increase in crime.

“Whenever there is a movement of people, especially on long weekends, we expect more crime and road accidents. We, therefore, caution the public to be aware, and for those driving in and out of town to adhere to the road traffic regulations, not to speed and refrain from driving under the influence of alcohol,” he says.

Shipandeni further appeals to those travelling, to not leave their property unattended.

“Make sure to inform your neighbours or those close to you to watch over your property. Let us enjoy Easter weekend peacefully and wherever you find yourself, please engage with those that are close to you and report any suspicious movements.”

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