he Northern Transit Transport Coordination Authority (NCTTCA) has carried out training sessions to empower experts in Goma, DRC and Juba, South Sudan, with knowledge on how they should conduct Black Spots surveys in their respective countries.
This is after conducting successful surveys and mapping out of Black Spots in the Member States of Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda in the last two years. Road Safety has become a big challenge in the Northern Corridor Member States albeit tremendous efforts made in the development and improvement of transport infrastructure.
In implementing the directive by the Northern Corridor policy Organs “to improve safety in all transport modes”, the Northern Corridor Transit and Transport Coordination Authority (NCTTCA) identified rigorous interventions that need to be implemented in order to facilitate safer transport across the Member States and support the achievement of the regional developmental goals.
Such interventions include the harmonization of the road safety laws, reduction of risk factors on the Northern Corridor road networks, proper safety data management and effective Road Safety Management System.
The DR Congo meeting was officiated by Hon. Muhindo Mbululi Palia, the Provincial Minister of Transport in Goma.
“Accidents are frequent in North Kivu. The training will serve to equip stakeholders on how to improve road safety in DR Congo”, pointed out Hon. Muhindo.
According to the World Health Organisation estimated 33.7 deaths per 100,000 occur in DR Congo due to various reasons including over speeding and drunk driving.
The data presented by Vedaste Hanyurwa Infura, the police commandant, revealed that road crashes had slightly reduced between 2016 and 2020 in North Kivu. Nevertheless, 443 accidents were witnessed in the period of January and March of 2021. The Goma-Kibumba road section had four black spots namely Kihisi, Kanyaruchinya, OPRP and Kilimanyoka.
These sections are characterized by steep slopes and therefore road crashes are always fatal in addition to causing serious damage to lives and property.
The training in South Sudan was officiated by Hon. Capt. Jalling Deloro Yengkeji, the Under-Secretary in the Ministry of Transport. Being the first Northern Corridor meeting in South Sudan similar to that held in Goma, DRC, Hon. Jalling exuded confidence that the training will help South Sudan improve its transport infrastructure while still investing more in Road Safety.
“Majority of the road infrastructure in South Sudan is yet to achieve international standards. A failure attributed to the financial challenges that the country still faces”, stated Hon. Capt. Jalling.
“Poor Road conditions being one of the main causes of accidents alongside caress driving and vehicle condition”, he added.
Eng. James O. Alam, Ag. Director for Maintenance from the Ministry of Roads and Bridges pointed out that out of the 17,000 Km of road network, 5,000 Km are all-weather primary and secondary roads that have been rehabilitated.
The training and engagements in DR Congo and South Sudan brought out several observations and recommendations on how the Member States can deal with the Blackspots step by step; which include to identifying and list priority sites based on data; obtain and read crash data for each black spot; diagnose the crash problem; inspect the site, develop countermeasures targeting the ;type of crash occurring at that location, calculate Costs, Benefits and Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR), produce a Black Spot Report; implement life-saving countermeasures – based on approval of funds and finally do the Follow up and evaluation.
The Northern Corridor Member States of DR Congo and South Sudan then committed to follow up specific recommendation that included forming committees to undertake the surveys along the Corridor routes in their countries and share their projects with the Northern Corridor Secretariat for future funding. The Secretariat offered also to support the Member States as they conduct the Black Spots surveys.