Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – Ethiopians have a saying which, when roughly translated means ‘you know only you are leaving but no one knows your return.’ This is what many say and the country’s current traffic accidents that are becoming more destructive and horrifying as time goes on, give it unwelcome credence.
The accident that occurred in Addis Abeba on July 31, 2014 at a place called Kolfe 18 Mazoria is unforgettable to many who have heard it. The female and male road side vegetable vendors and cooks locally known as Gulit were sitting and standing by their stalls putting out their onions, tomatoes, potatoes, sugarcane and the like. Some even had their children by their side as they waited for their customers, when a truck with a trailer suddenly lost control and came from one side of the asphalt clearing all that stood in its path. That tragic accident killed 26 people on the spot among which 16 were females that support their families with the small income they gained from their vending, and 44 were injured.
Nothing could have made the community mourn more than when their colleagues were snatched from their sides within seconds.
Another incident on the newly inaugurated Addis-Adama expressway gave testimony to the rampant accidents in the city. It was early in the morning of Sunday, January 18, 2015 that eleven were left dead and nine injured. These kinds of accidents always take the lives of many in the city and also in other parts of the country.
Gezu Sira has been a driver for the past 15 years and now he has the fourth level driver’s licence and drives a heavy truck. Gezu knows everything about driving but can testify that knowledge alone cannot save one’s life if there is an accident.
“One has to be cautious in driving, be it for a long distance or short distance as it only takes a matter of seconds to lose one’s life or part of one’s body,” said Gezu.
Gezu has survived collisions and falling accidents in his career. Fortunately, these have not resulted in any loss of life or serious injury either to him or others.
“Nowadays everyone needs to be careful as things are becoming quicker and quicker, taking lives the same way,” stressed Gezu.
According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) report, published in April 2014, traffic accidents in Ethiopia account for the deaths of 37.28 persons per 100,000. This is 2.77pc of the total deaths in the country, placing Ethiopia 12th in the world.
Read more at: Addis Fortune