It is highly regrettably that a vehicle in the Convoy of the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power killed a 7 year old boy while she was on her way to conduct an official humanitarian assignment in Minawao Refugee Camp, Cameroun. However, while reports have shown that the road crash was not premeditated and the victim not neglected as the Ambulance in the convoy promptly offered first aid treatment.
Nevertheless, as we offer our condolences to the family of the deceased and commend the action of Samantha Power in taking out time to visit the family of the late boy, it is important to state that with this firsthand experience of Samantha Power on preventable road deaths in Africa viz a viz her ambassadorial status at the United Nations, she is well positioned to convey to the World that so much needs to be done for road safety development in Africa.
Indeed, it is age long established fact that nations in Africa are in dire need of support from the International Community on the fight against Road Traffic Injuries, a disease that kills more people than the dreaded HIV/AIDS.
The simple truth is that if National lead road safety agencies in African countries can get up to ten percent of support that is extended to HIV, road deaths will be highly reduced and young children will have proper education on how to stay safe on the many bad roads of the continent.
Consequently, I consider it apt to urge Samantha Power to use this sad experience to tell the world that on the roads of Africa, every road user will remain a potential victim until appropriate resources are put into the present United Nations Decade of Action on road safety.
Such advocacy from Samantha Power will assist developing countries overcome the huge challenge of needless road deaths which claim about 85 lives daily in a country like Nigeria despite the good efforts of officers the Federal Road Safety Corps that miserably work with limited facilities and resources.
Very sad that a preventable road death occurred but it is fair to note that Samantha Power can actually be the missing voice and catalyst for road safety growth in Africa. Wish her well in this new voluntary assignment which resulted from regrettable but necessary coincidence. The attention of Jean Todt in his capacity as UN Special Envoy for Road Safety is vital on this issue.
Angela Nwokolo, member, PATVORA Initiative, a Nigerian based road safety NGO.