Sierra Rutile takes steps to improve road safety for mining communities
Improving road travel in its area of operations has been a priority for Sierra Rutile this year. In addition to overhauling the roads, which has significantly cut journey times and improved road safety for the mining communities, the company has installed solar street lighting in Moriba and Mogbwemo townships and recently completed a programme of signposting the villages along the Moyamba to Mogbwemo road.
Courtesy of Sierra Rutile, each village from Moyamba Junction to Mogbwemo now has two name signs, making it more convenient for people working locally and easier for everyone living in the area to give directions to visiting customers, family and friends. The work was carried out by Sierra Rutile’s resident sign writers, Rashid Turay and Brima Dumbuya, who hand-painted name signs for 37 villages.
The programme of village signposts complements work done earlier this year by Sierra Rutile to overhaul the road from Moyamba Junction to Mogbwemo, as well as other roads in the local area. The company has so far renovated 82km of roads, and plans to begin work on strategic market and feeder roads after the rains.
The recent installation of 21 solar streets lights in Mogbwemo and Moriba Town, funded by the Sierra Rutile foundation, will increase safety – research shows that street lighting can reduce road accidents at night by around 30%. The street lighting also encourages more night-time trading and commercial activity and deters petty criminals.The work was carried out by Supreme Ventures Inc, a local company specialising in solar systems and to ensure the system’s sustainability, four local people have been trained in maintaining the street lights.
Continuing the focus on road safety is a plan to provide safety training for bike riders working locally to help reduce careless driving and related accidents among motorbike riders.
Ansu Jabati, Sierra Rutile’s Environment, Health and Safety Manager, highlights the importance of the improvements. “Figures from the World Health Organisation show that over 90 % of the deaths in road accidents occur in low-income and middle-income countries,even though these countries have approximately half of the world’s vehicles. The work that has been done to rehabilitate the roads and improve street lighting should help improve safety, as will providing road awareness and safety training for motorbike riders. The road signs are a very useful addition for local residents and businesses, making it easier for visitors and customers from outside the area to find them when they visit.”
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