Getting about safely during the holiday season
By Melkisedek-Shivute Ausiku
Founder of LEFA
December is a great time to relax and unwind and attend parties, end of year functions and travel to holiday destinations. We have worked hard all year, struggled and are thankful that we made it to the end of another hectic year.
We Namibians love a drink and to party, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that too often we become irresponsible when we drink. This has major consequences which cannot and should not be ignored.
As LEFA, we started our ride-hailing app to facilitate safe transport for Namibians. We work together with organisations like the Namibia Breweries Limited as well as SAIF, and work hard to promote road-safety, especially at this time of year. We try to change the mindset of people that drink alcohol. Drinking and driving is not normal anywhere in the world, and it shouldn’t be in Namibia either.
An easy excuse that people use is that; “there’s no other way to get home after an evening of drinks and merriment”.
LEFA and our partners are spreading the message and work on providing solutions and alternatives to drink driving and proving there are other ways of getting home, other than driving drunk. One of these solutions is to have safe, reliable and affordable transport solutions available 24/7.
As the MVA Fund’s Manager for Accident and Injury Prevention, Jones Lutombi recently stated; “The high numbers of road accidents increase administrative costs for insurance, police, courts and the MVA Fund. This is in addition to costs related to medical treatment, rehabilitation and life enhancement. It is not just about fatalities, looking beyond the stats we see; damage to property and road infrastructure, lost productivity of those killed or injured and cost to corporates of re-employment and re-training of new employees to replace those deceased or injured. This is why drink driving must be halted at all costs.”
Namibians travel abroad and are amazed at all the apps available in other parts of the world, including easy to use ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft, and wonder why Namibia doesn’t have them.
Well, since about a year, we do have a similar application with LEFA. During Windhoek’s Oktoberfest, always an evening when people drive after a beer or two, or ten. More than 250 rides were ordered and taken by Oktoberfest partygoers through LEFA. This means up to a 1000 possible passengers decided to party and be safe and not drink and drive. This is exactly what we were hoping for and will continue to encourage this behaviour.
Embracing technology to save lives is what innovation should be about, and Namibians have shown that they are ready for this technology by ordering more rides each month. Especially after drinks, or dinner, but also just as a safe and reliable form of transportation. Embrace road safety during the holiday season, but also beyond and let’s make 2019 the safest year on our roads.
Wishing you a safe and fun holiday season.