UNDP collaborates in workshop aiding the reduction of traffic-related deaths

21 Nov 2011

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The Ministry of Interior is currently hosting a four-day  workshop on 'National Traffic and Transport Strategy 2010-2020' at the Holiday Inn Hotel. It's being held under the patronage of Sheikh Ahmed Al-Humoud Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Interior. The event will coincide with the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims which will conclude on November 23rd.

The Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs at the Ministry of Interior Maj Gen Dr Mustafa Al-Zaabi delivered a welcome speech praising the role played by participants. "This is an annual workshop held every year in which many international experts participate. The traffic situation is important. All related institutes should cooperate to find the important solutions and reduce losses in lives and finance," he said.

Sahar Al-Shawa, representing the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) stated that the relations between the United Nations and the Traffic Department in Kuwait goes back to the year 1968. "The national project aims to improve traffic between the years 2010 to 2014. The campaign aims to protect the lives of people, and this should be a joint responsibility. Kuwait has presented a ground breaking solution.

Soud Al-Naqi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Road Engineering at the Ministry of Public Works noted that road accidents cause a lot of casualties. "The Ministry of Public Works is closely cooperating with the Ministry of Interior to solve roads accidents and traffic." Eissa Al-Enezi from the Kuwait Engineers Association said that the deaths caused by car accidents have reduced in 2010, compared to previous years according to official traffic statistics.

To reach better results and work toward decreasing death cases, more efforts should be made to prepare studies on car accidents. The statistics also show youngsters account for 60 percent of victims. Our Association pledges its complete support to National Traffic and Transport Strategy 2010-2020," he explained.

Dr Kim Jraiw, Technical Director of the Strategy Project and expert with the United Nations and International Development banks addressed a presentation titled: National Traffic and Transport Sector Strategy 2010-2020. "We seek to implement sustainable transport system in Kuwait, which will be discussed with all the authorities and institutions. This includes the transport sector and was approved by the Cabinet. Kuwait is the first country to prepare this strategy in May," he pointed out.

Dr Jraiw also stressed on some issues, including the importance of transport system, requirements of sustainable transport which began in the 1990s, problems of transport sector in developing countries, causes of infrastructure projects' technical failures. He highlighted problems like emission of noxious substances and congestion, "These are problems from which most countries suffer. There is a local, regional, and international commitment to implement the strategy. As part of implementing this strategy, we need to train 3,000 policemen and 500 engineers by the year 2015," Dr Jraiw added.

He also cited some traffic statistics. "The first road death took place in London in 1896. Today 1.3 million deaths are registered per year around the world, in addition to 60 million who are injured. It's expected that the deaths will grow in the Middle East by 68 percent. In Kuwait, this statistic has reduced: 460 lost their lives in traffic accidents in 2006. Whereas 374 died in 2010. We aim to lessen this number even more," concluded Dr Jraiw.