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Road Safety – Three cheers for Pawel

Road Safety – Three cheers for Pawel

Over the years, Sierra Leone has been suffering from a high rate of road accidents.  During the past three years, especially, hundreds of people have lost their lives and limbs on our highways. The situation has reached an alarming stage, prompting government to flourish a road safety campaign through the Sierra Leone Road Transport Authority (SLRTA).

The advent of the commercial motorbikes, vernacularly called Okadas, has worsened the situation.  Just visit the Emergency Hospital in Freetown and you will be appalled by the scores of people wounded or amputated via Okada accidents.

To buttress the effort of the SLRTA to minimize road accidents through road safely monitoring a volunteer organization has emerged called the Passenger Welfare Organization (PAWEL), founded by a patriot, philanthropist and popular academic politician called Dr. John Gbla.  Dr. Gbla has been using his personal financial resources to establish the organization which has now employed hundreds of youths who are now deployed on our roads to prevent road accidents and render first aid services to roads victims before conveying them to the nearest health facility.

In a recent interview with this newspaper in his office along the Bo-Koribondo Highway, the founder and Executive Director, Dr. John Gbla revealed that His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, will formally launch the organization in Freetown by the end of this month.

Dr. Gbla commended government for awarding the organization the contract to change all left hand vehicles to right hand instead of doing away with all left hand vehicles in a country where transportation is a problem.

Asked why he decided to single handedly finance such an elaborate organization, Dr. Gbla responded that he is doing it to save lives of especially the young and produce like people who travel most.  He expressed hope that a responsible government like the ruling APC will surely appreciate his initiatives and decide to sponsor the organization.

Dr. Gbla was the independent candidate weight who gave the toughest time to the APC candidate during last year’s parliament bye-election in Tonkolili.  He was prevailed upon by APC elders to step down for the primary candidate.

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