By Fru Rita Ngum
The Mayor of Bamenda 1 Council has lauded the efforts of CBM AusAid and CBC Health Services through it programme, the Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disability (SEEPD) for promoting disability and inclusive development in the Council. Mrs Caroline Bi Bongwa reiterated her appreciation December 2017 during the launching of a joint motor bike campaign organized by the Bamenda I & II Councils.
She noted that with the prevalence of disability in the NWR and in her municipality, the Bamenda 1 Council will always take hold of opportunities for partnerships such as the one signed in 2015 between the CBCHS and some NW Councils, which has gone a long way to impact the population in the areas of health, social inclusion and education. Mayor Caroline said the motor bike campaign was thus one of the strategies put in place by the Council to curb the prevalence of disability, which research has proven that one of its causes is the motor bike accident.
Given that one of the causes of bike accident is ignorance of the high way code, the Director of Yensi Driving School, Gilbert Yensi drilled the riders on the different road signs and their meanings. He called on the riders to always have other bike riders and road users on their minds when riding giving that they are always the victims of accidents. Mr Yensi highlighted excessive speed, wrong overtaking, wrong use of the road, poor dressing, and overloading as the leading causes of motor bike accident. He challenged the biker riders to enrol in driving schools and acquire a driving license, which he said is very important to all drivers and riders.
Educating the bike riders on the research sponsored by the SEEPD programme and carried out by the Centre for Inclusive Studies (CIS), the Community Based Rehabilitation field worker, Mr Chongwain Johnson said the studies revealed that 125 people have accidents in the NWR every day as a result of motor bike, 35 of them end up with fractures, 96% of the bike riders have not gone to the driving school, 95% of bike riders in the NWR do not put on helmet when riding and 97% of the passengers have never worn helmets.
Marveled by the statistics of the research, the bike riders noted that it is a situation which is very preoccupying. They called on the Delegation of Transport to put in place measures that will facilitate the acquisition of driver licenses and copies of the high way code.
The event, which brought together some bike riders of Bamenda I &II and the leaders in the bike riders’ union, was characterized by visual acuity done by the CBR field workers and volunteers to access the vision of the bike riders. Those diagnosed with poor vision were referred for further check up.
It should be noted that the motor bike campaign organized by the Bamenda 1& II Councils has added to the number of campaigns that have been organized since 2016 by some Councils that the SEEPD programme is partnering with. It is hoped that by the end of the partnership in December 2018, the high rate of bike accidents in the NWR will reduce significantly.