How responsible drinking can save lives from road fatalities

DAR ES SALAAM: TANZANIA, like many other countries in the world, is losing its citizens due to road traffic accidents, calling for the need for effective road safety interventions and planning.

The economic and social costs associated with road accidents are staggering, emphasising the urgency for comprehensive road safety measures.

By 2030, road traffic crashes are anticipated to rank in the top three of all causes of disability behind depressive disorders and ischemic heart disease.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics show that Tanzania’s road traffic death rate is estimated at 32.9 per 100,000 people.

The numbers are staggering, but behind these statistics lay the profound impact on families, communities and the nation as a whole. The Global Road Safety Partnership and the International Federation of the Red Cross, Tanzania loses about 3.4 per cent of its GDP caring for victims of road accidents.

Each year, hundreds of lives are lost and thousands are injured, directly or indirectly, as a result of this reckless behaviour. Road traffic crashes account for much of the injury burden worldwide hitting to a great extent the low and middle- income countries. Tanzania, like many other countries, grapples with the sobering reality of drunk driving- related accidents.

A significant portion of these fatalities can be attributed to alcohol-impaired driving. It is alarming to note that accidents due to drunk driving have resulted in a large number of fatalities, often involving young adults, the backbone of any nation’s future.

In response to these troubling statistics, Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL) has embarked on a transformative journey and has been diligently working to combat this issue with the ‘Inawezekana Campaign’. This initiative aims to raise awareness about the importance of responsible drinking habits, emphasising moderation as the key to preventing the tragedies that stem from excessive alcohol consumption.

The SBL understands that responsible drinking not only brings about safety, health, and well-being for the individual but also for the broader community, as we all share the same roads.

The core of responsible drinking lies in the understanding that responsibility begins with the individual. It is a collective effort, but it starts with making the right choices for oneself, and by extension, for the safety of others on the road.

Responsible drinking is not merely a concept but it is a practice that extends to all aspects of life. It means making choices that prioritise safety, health and the overall well-being of both the individual and those who share the road.

The SBL Corporate Affairs Director John Wanyancha, comments, “The brewer’s campaign is a testament to our dedication to promoting responsible drinking habits within our community. We firmly believe that responsible drinking begins with each individual.

It’s about making informed choices about alcohol consumption and understanding the far-reaching consequences of one’s actions on the road and in the community,” He added, “The concept of responsible drinking transcends the idea of moderation, it emphasises the importance of enjoying alcoholic beverages responsibly and within one’s limits.

This includes understanding one’s tolerance, knowing when not to drink and most importantly, never drinking and driving,” This campaign is a transformative force that strives to address the pervasive issue of irresponsible drinking.

It is not only a call to action but also a pledge to raise awareness and foster a sense of responsibility among individuals. It has set its sights on a brighter, safer future for all Tanzanians by utilising various platforms, including educational programmes, awareness initiatives, and community engagement, to reach every corner of the country.

The campaign endeavours to educate the public about the dangers of drinking and driving and, equally important, the significance of responsible drinking. Moreover, the campaign recognises that responsible drinking brings about not only individual safety but also collective well-being.

Communities become safer when individuals make choices that prioritise responsibility over recklessness. The campaign also seeks to address the misconceptions surrounding drinking, such as excessive alcohol consumption being equated with having a good time.

Anything without moderation leads to problems even food, a saying that rings true in various aspects of life, including drinking. Moderation is not about abstaining entirely it is about finding the balance between enjoying life and ensuring that these moments of joy do not turn into tragedy.

In essence, moderation is the fundamental principle underpinning the responsible drinking movement. It is the shield that guards against the pitfalls of excessive alcohol consumption and by extension, the devastating consequences of drunk driving.

The Inawezekana Campaign aims to instill the message that moderation is the key to enjoying alcoholic beverages safely.

The campaign is not just a call to action but also an invitation for every individual to embrace their role in ensuring a safer tomorrow.

It is a promise to prioritise safety, health, and well-being, not only for oneself but for the entire community.

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