Namibia commits to tourists safety

Pohamba Shifeta

Following a fatal crash involving tourists, the minister of environment, forestry and tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, has announced that Namibia has embarked on a national tourist safety awareness campaign.

He says the campaign aims to strengthen national efforts in ensuring that tourists are safe while visiting the country.

Shifeta revealed this in a press statement on Monday.

This follows two tourists losing their lives in the Erongo region on 24 April.

“The accident in which two tourists lost their lives while on holiday in Namibia is regrettable and unfortunate,” the minister says.

“Namibia values the safety of its citizens and motorists, as well as that of tourists and visitors,” he says.

Shifeta says the country recognises that tourism is an important economic sector to Namibia.

“Our tourists must only have the best holiday experiences the country has to offer,” he says.

Shifeta says although accidents happen, the government is imploring the investigation team to conclude its investigation as soon as possible to determine the accident’s exact cause.

This would help bring closure the families of the deceased closure.

“We wish to express our sincere condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved family, and a quick recovery to those who sustained injuries in this accident,” the statement reads.

The minister appeals to tour operators and drivers to be cautious at all times, taking into consideration the different types of terrains they operate in.


Meanwhile, Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund chief executive Rosalia Martins-Hausiku urges vigilance on the country’s roads, following a recent increase in road crashes.

She says the fund will ensure that the injured tourists receive the appropriate medical care.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the persons injured in the recent tragic road crash and their families. The MVA Fund is offering support to those affected and is closely monitoring their recovery.

“Family members are encouraged to contact the nearest MVA Fund service centre at Walvis Bay at 064 202 677/659 or for funeral and other benefits offered by the fund,” she says

Martins-Hauiku says foreign nationals in Namibia are entitled to medical treatment and injury management for the duration of their stay in the country, adding that if a foreign national is fatally injured in a road accident in Namibia, they are eligible for a N$7 000 funeral grant.


She says it is alarming to note that the recent Easter weekend statistics reveal that road crashes have risen by 6%, injuries by 19%, and fatalities by an overwhelming 60%, compared to last year’s statistics.

“These figures not only reflect a shocking increase from the previous year, but also signify a critical need for immediate intervention to ensure the safety of all road users.

“The safety of road users is of paramount importance, because road crashes have devastating consequences that affect families, communities, and the nation at large,” she says.

She says the fund has noted that the crashes are often predictable and preventable through conscientious driving, strict adherence to road traffic rules and regulations, planning long journeys, and avoiding driving at night.

“The fund would like to remind the public to report crashes to its toll-free accident response number, 9682, as doing so could save lives,” she says.


Although the police are still investigating the recent accident involving tourists, provisional police reports indicate that one of the buses involved in the accident heading in the direction of Walvis Bay from Windhoek experienced brake failure, causing the driver to lose control and crash into a stationary pickup with no occupants, and finally into an oncoming tourist bus, with 32 occupants on board.

Two Portuguese nationals, aged 68 and 72, died, while the rest sustained moderate to serious injuries.

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