I bet you think that these are just some random names!! Well think again!!!These are the names of two beautiful girls, one aged 21 and the other aged 19 who died in road accident on Thika Road. They were travelling from Nairobi to their Thika home, coming from a modelling audition. The loss of these lives left family, relatives and friends devastated, not knowing where to turn. More so, their deaths also left a gap in the Thika community. It left us wondering what could have gone wrong, what could have led to their tragic deaths.
What makes the situation even worse, is the thought that many more lives are being lost on Kenyan roads. The focus has shifted in the recent days to numerous deaths on the Thika Super-Highway. It is our Highway and we are most definitely proud of it but there are more serious concerns that have come up since its inception. I know most of Thika residents use the Highway constantly but do we really consider the risks of using this road.
Enter Kenya Red Cross Society - Thika Branch.
I have often wondered what drives the people who work at Red Cross. One important fact that you must note from here-forward is that they are volunteers. They might get a small stipend to support their daily operations, but they are not paid employees like you and I. However, their commitment and passion cannot be compared to that of those of us who work for other organizations. They are driven and motivated in their endeavours to help other people. The other day when churches were attacked in Garissa, members of the Red Cross were the first to arrive at the scene.
This time, they have come with a sensitization event to help people understand how they can prevent road accidents and deal with them when they occur. The LINDA MAISHA Campaign is an idea developed by Red Cross- Thika Branch and is aimed at sensitizing motorists on Thika Super-Highway on issues related to use and misuse of the road. On Saturday, 7th July 2012, Red Cross -Thika Branch will be conducting a sensitization road show from Muthaiga to Thika, reaching out to people in these areas and helping them use the road wisely thus preventing road accidents.
Let us highlight some of the commonest causes of road accidents in Kenya:
- drunken driving - (most of us tukitoka out, we drive ourselves home, not knowing that we could meet our death on the roads.)
- Ignorance of road signs
- Overloading, (Thika matatus are notorious for carrying excess passengers)
- Careless driving (calling, texting or whatever use of phone or other gadgets when driving is included here)
- Un-roadworthy vehicles
So, what do we do to reduce or completely eradicate these horrific and heart-wrecking road accidents???
- First and most importantly, I would like you to go to our Facebook page and leave a comment making a pledge to road safety
- Avoid over speeding, its better to be late than to die or get injured on the road
- Never drive when drunk. NEVER!!Don't ever get into a vehicle driven by a drunk person, even when its your friend. Be a good friend, call a taxi.
- Drive Carefully
- Keep away mobile phones, iPads, iPods, Tablets or any other gadgets you might own, when driving.
- Observe road signs and traffic rules
- Do not drive un-roadworthy vehicles. Service your vehicles as often as possible to avoid unexpected mishaps.
- to always wear a safety belt.
- wear a helmet when using a motorcycle
- drive at safe speeds and keep applicable distances
- to never drive when drunk, high on drugs, tired or sleepy
- to never use phones or other devices when driving or crossing the road
- Respect the Highway Code at all times
- Have a valid driving license when driving
- Service and maintain vehicles constantly
- to never offer bribes to police and traffic officers
- to never board an overloaded matatu
- to always maintain my safety and that of other road users
We must come together to bring an end to the horrors of road accidents. As residents of Thika and users of the Super Highway, we ask you to join forces with us and the Red Cross Team on Saturday, to learn more on how we can use the road safely.
We expect to see you there and you might find yourself featured on Thika Live since we will be covering the event.
Make a pledge on the Thika Live Facebook Page and Lets Unite in making our roads safe!!
Kenya Red Cross Society- Thika Branch
Kenyatta Highway, TAC Grounds
opposite Kenol Petrol Station
P.O. Box-01700, Thika, Kenya.
Cell: 0712 168 119