SLRTA and Salone Brewery launch drink-driving partnership agreement
The Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority (SLRTA) and the Sierra Leone Brewery Limited on Friday 13th December launched a partnership agreement on drink-driving on the theme: ‘Stay Alive, don’t drink and drive’, held at the Headquarters of the SLRTA in Freetown.
In his welcome address, the Corporate Relations Manager Sierra Leone Brewery limited Mr. Albert Collier said the partnership is first of its kind since the establishment of the company in 1961 and can be seen as an important part of the recently launched SLRTA National Road Safety Policy which is aimed at reducing the incidence of accidents which is the cause of countless loss of lives and useful resources.
“The Sierra Leone Brewery Limited and the SLRTA are here today to solidify their commitment to promote road safety and responsible consumption of alcohol and to form a more powerful and stronger unit to fight against the abuse of alcoholic beverages and drunk driving. Therefore inviting all stakeholders to a gathering like this is by no mistake but the right place to start.” Mr. Collier said.
He however express his profound gratitude to the SLRTA for a welcoming hand and admonished all to join the process to inform, implement, and enforce ‘if you drink don’t drive, and if you drive don’t drink’ so our roads would be safer for all.
While making her statement, the Executive Director of the Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu said the launch of the partnership agreement came at a time when we are in the festive mood. And that everyone is prone to have accident during this season than any other time in the year. She added that the agreement between the SLRTA and the Sierra Leone Brewery Limited will be renewed annually.
“We hope that by the end of the first year we would be able to raise the required awareness on responsible drinking right across the country, and be able to record a low rate drivers driving under the influence of alcohol.” Dr. Bendu said.
She however noted that during the Christmas season, we do have more cars, more people, and many more traffic congestion than any other season so when we drive we must make ‘SAFETY’ as she puts it our number one priority.
Dr. Bendu encourage all to be cautious and respect the rights of pedestrians and other drivers; stay alert for the driver that have over celebrated and expect the unexpected. Adding that responsible drinking will help us avoid getting too much alcohol in our system.
She thank the management of the Sierra Leone Brewery for such a kind gesture and noted that the SLRTA is open to partnership with other institutions or organizations as long as its gears towards road safety.
The Managing Director of Sierra Leone Brewery Limited Mr. Willy Ngana said the partnership agreement is in line with the HEINEKEN International mandate for all its affiliate companies for which Sierra Leone Brewery is a part to ensure that the promotion of responsible consumption of alcohol is actively propagated. He added that as a market leader in beverage industry in Sierra Leone, the SLBL recognizes the need to play an active role in advocating for an encouraging responsible drinking of alcohol in the country. He noted that moderate alcohol consumptions can play a part in a healthy lifestyle but they also accept that there is an alcohol misuse problem that needs to be tackled.
“We at SLBL will do our best during the life of this partnership agreement to tackle the harmful effects of alcohol abuse on the people and society to ensure road safety. We must therefore explore all avenues that will lower the effects of irresponsible consumption of alcohol. Let every consumer be informed of the potential risks of alcohol abuse more so under unhealthy conditions.” Mr. Ngana said.
He further assured that the SLBL will assist in ensuring that the National Road Safety Policy, Strategy and Trust Fund become a success in this country. Adding that they would continue to improve on their relevance; by applying best practice in their production, correct application of their code of business conduct and they SLBL would try to meet their part of the bargain. Mr. Willy Ngana said.
He encouraged all to stay alive and don’t drink and drive to make our roads safe for all and sundry.
Other speakers including the representative of the Inspector General of Police made meaningful contributions.
BY Mohamed Lanrana Jalloh (Intern SLRTA)
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