The Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund plans to build more low-cost housing for its seriously injured claimants, as it continues to find better ways to assist the rehabilitation of road crash victims.
The Fund said this week that it has written a letter to the Urban and Rural Development Minister Sophia Shaningwa, seeking an audience with her to discuss modalities on how municipalities can assist it in this regard.
This comes as the Fund has already built four rehabilitation-friendly houses for injured claimants.
It was not immediately clear when the meeting will take place.
“The MVA Fund, within the scope of providing life enhancement, has undertaken the programme of house modification and providing low-cost housing to identified people, who sustained serious injuries under the new Act.
“To that effect, the MVA Fund has requested to engage the office of the Minister of Urban and Rural Development to discuss the availability of land to construct low-cost housing for its seriously injured claimants, who might not own a residence,” MVA Fund Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Kapena Tjombonde told the Windhoek Observer.
The discussions with the minister will centre on availing erven quotas to people with disabilities, in order to promote equal opportunities and inclusivity, Tjombonde added.
The MVA Fund established the house modification programme in 2014, in line with the MVA Fund Act No. 10 of 2007, which makes provision for the life enhancement of its seriously injured customers.
The Fund, however, feels that there is a need to construct low-cost housing for road accident victims, who do not own houses, since modifications are only done to dwellings owned by injured claimants.
To date, the MVA Fund has modified 48 houses. It also plans to modify 38 houses in the current financial year, at a total cost of N$2,5 million.
The Fund is of the view that a modified house eases the mobility of wheelchair-bound claimants, and makes rehabilitation more sustainable.
“The Fund is thus acting on its mandate, in line with fulfilling its vision of ‘supporting your journey to independence’, Tjombonde said.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported in 2014 that Namibia is ranked first in the world in terms of the number of road deaths per 100, 000 residents.
The report also said that the African continent is responsible for about 16 percent of annual global road deaths, even though Africa accounts for just 2 percent of registered vehicles.
Hileni Fillemon, who is the Manager for Corporate Communications at the Roads Authority (RA), is on record saying the high rate of fatal road accidents in the country are mostly caused by bad driver attitudes.
With an average of 133 road accidents per month, causing at least 180 injuries and nine deaths, the Khomas region is considered the crash capital of Namibia.
However, statistics released by the MVA Fund this week shows a 1 percent decrease in crashes recorded in the 2014/15 and 2015/16 financial years, although there was a 27 percent increase in injuries in the last financial year.
Total claim expenses for the 2015/16 financial year amounted to N$306,5million, the MVA Fund said.
The Fund has set itself an ambitious target of breaking even by 2017, after it was almost financially crippled under the weight of claims by survivors and relatives of three Belgian tourists, who were killed in a road accident caused by former world boxing champion Harry Simon in 2002.
The Fund has previously said that the tourists’ claims are likely to increase to around N$250 million, when they are finally settled in full.