The following statement has just been received by Barney Curtis, (pictured below), Executive Director of The Federation of East and Southern Africa Road Transport Associations, on the tragedy that took place on November 24th at the Kasumbalesa border post between Zambia and DRC. See posts below for more information on this disaster.
“FESARTA sincerely regrets the loss of life in this accident and extends its condolences to the families of those deceased. The drivers were just going about their daily business and could not have expected to be involved in such an accident. It has been stated on many occasions that vehicles carrying Dangerous Goods, when parked in congested areas at the borders, are an accident waiting to happen. This was referenced mainly to Beitbridge between South Africa and Zimbabwe. It so happened that Beitbridge has been temporarily spared of such an event and Kasumbalesa was the recipient instead. The problem remains and something has to be done about it – either give Dangerous Goods vehicles fast clearance, or give them a special parking area. We know that borders are congested and space is at a premium. But, the stakes are too high to not make some concessions. FESARTA will pursue this matter.
“FESARTA has been communicating closely with ICCO, the National Road Transport Association (NRTA) in the Katanga province of DRC. It is assumed that an official investigation will be set up without delay. Several questions have been sent to ICCO and they are to be tabled at the investigation. There will naturally be several others questions to be answered. When the investigation is completed and outcomes drafted, FESARTA will work together with its member NRTAs to determine the best way forward to avoid similar future occurrences. Again, our sincere condolences to the families of those affected – Barney Curtis; FESARTA (Federation of East and Southern African Road Transport Associations).