THE media fraternity in Tanzania is once again mourning the loss of colleagues, and once again, through a tragic road accident.
Seven young lives, including five promising media practitioners were on Monday morning cut short after their vehicle, a mini bus belonging to Azam Media Group collided head on with a lorry.
The sad and most scary fact is that this will not be the last time; More lives will continue to perish from regular road carnage which is robbing the country of vital workforce.
Road accidents cause both tangible and intangible costs to the economy.
Some of the tangible costs include damage to the vehicle (replacement and repair costs), administration costs, medical treatment and reduction in output due to injury and death, and insurance costs intangible costs include pain, grief, trauma and suffering and the risk of being involved in accidents.
In economic terms the costs of road accidents to the economy is estimated at about 3 percent of the GDP. World Health Organization (WHO), strategy reported that currently road traffic injuries are the leading cause of deaths and injuries, the 10th leading cause of all deaths and 9th leading contributor to the burden of disease worldwide based on disability adjusted life years.
The number of deaths resulting from road traffic crashes have been projected to reach 8.4 million in the year 2020 worldwide (WHO, 2000).
In Tanzania, road traffic accidents are among the major causes of injuries, deaths, property damage, and disability despite the existing road safely programmes. Road traffic accidents in Tanzania (RTA) are caused by people, vehicles and environment.
To protect the road infrastructure in Tanzania, I believe greater attention should be given to load management by the heavy freight industry, because lorries are some of the main sources of road accidents.
Specialised traffic enforcement units should also be deployed along major arterial routes at weigh-bridges, truck-stops and toll gates, and special attention should be focused on keeping un-roadworthy vehicles off the road.
For years, corruption has been identified as the major problem which needs to be tackled, because it is frustrating to take an unroadworthy vehicle off the road one day, and then find it back on the road the following day.