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SLRSA and Brewery extend partnership on drink driving

SLRSA and Brewery extend partnership on drink driving

The Sierra Leone Road Safety Authority (SLRSA) on Wednesday, 11th November, 2015, extended the drink driving partnership to the Sierra Leone Brewery Limited at a ceremony held at the SLRSA Liberia Hall, Kissy Road in Freetown. (Photo: SLRSA Executive Director, Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu and Brewery Managing Director, Willy Ngana, signing the partnership agreement while Board Chairman and Deputy Executive Director look on)

Sierra Leone Brewery’s Managing Director, Willy Ngana, disclosed that in December 2013, Brewery and SLRSA launched the first ever Drink Driving Partnership on a high note with a sensitization workshop organized for drivers, riders and students among other road users but that due to the Ebola outbreak, most of the plans outlined in the partnership agreement, including the procurement of breathalyzers for SLRSA, were halted.

Willy Ngana stated that as a responsible brewer with a vision to protect the health and wellbeing of their customers and as a reliable development partner, “we are here today to not only sign the extension of our partnership but also to hand over to SLRSA what we promised. The items include 100 electronic breathalyzers, 1,000 disposable breathalyzers to conduct a baseline survey to ascertain the number of people driving under the influence of alcohol to aid decision-making and 2, 000 disposable mouthpieces to be used alongside the electronic breathalyzers.”

According to Willy Ngana, all the items are worth over Le112 million in addition to the brewery supporting the sensitization of the drink driving campaign with a cheque of Le 21 million making the total commitment of the Brewery to Le 134 million.

He went on, “some people may ask why Brewery is engaged in such activity? It is our responsibility to educate, inform and protect our customers and to demonstrate that we truly care.”

He went on to observe that adults enjoy our products nationwide but cautioned that they must also be aware that most people enjoy their products responsibly so as not to hurt or kill others stating, “as responsible industries, we have a duty to sensitize communities on the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption to increase public confidence in drivers.”

The Managing Director said that the marriage between the two institutions is a step in the right direction with a shared objective to keep the roads safe for the Sierra Leonean population, ensure that their customers drink and act responsibly underlining, “we hope that these items and planned activities will be used to increase awareness about the dangers of drink-driving.”

SLRSA Executive Director, Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu commended Brewery for its continuous partnership with the Authority to enhance road safety, warned drivers not to consume alcohol while driving and appealed to all to come onboard and enforce the law against drunk-driving that has been in the Authority’s Act since establishment.

According to Dr. Sarah Finda Bendu, the Authority would conduct a survey to know how many drivers drink while driving to protect the most vulnerable, road users reiterating “let us be responsible road users as collectively we can reduce road accidents by 50% according to the United Nations.”

Dr. Bendu also called on all to support SLRSA protect the lives of road users assuring that after the survey, the Authority would make the report public assuring that the breathalyzers would be utilized to promote road safety as the partnership with Brewery is a life time venture.

SLRSA Board Chairman, Reverend Michael Samura said that Brewery has stood the test of time in the country and guaranteed further collaboration to enhance and promote road safety in the country.

Abdul Karim Dumbuya, SLRSA Public Relations Officer, in his declaration of purpose, stated that the partnership commenced a year ago and its extension with the donation of breathalyzers would help reduce road accidents.

The ceremony was chaired by SLRSA License Department Director, Ibrahim Sagbah and attended by stakeholders including Brewery’s Company Secretary and Corporate Relations Manager, Albert O. U. Collier; Aminata Kasim-Carew, Brewery’s Corporate Relations Officer and the management of SLRSA while SLRSA’s Deputy Executive Director, Alice O. Pratt, rendered the vote of thanks.

Signing of the Drink-Driving Partnership Agreement climaxed the ceremony.

By Abdul R. Bedor Kamara

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