Raja demands more for swimming lessons after drownings this summer

Abid Raja (The Liberal Party).Photo : Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

After a summer of a number of drowning accidents, the Venstre party has asked for more money in the budget and efforts to improve swimming training.


‘’The numbers are dramatic.Now more people are drowning in Norway than die in traffic,” said Venstre’s fiscal spokesperson, Abid Raja to NTB news.

“We have made a massive effort to bring down the accidents in traffic.Now there is also a massive effort needed to improve children’s and young people’s swimming skills and increase the Norwegian’ sea water awareness,’’ he stated.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Høyre (H) convened members for the challenge of the government’s proposal for the state budget for 2019. Venstre is now sitting around the table as a government party.

Plain numbers

These are the numbers that made the parliamentarian sound the alarm:

* August statistics from the Redningsselskapet (Rescue Services) showed that 68 people have died in drowning accidents so far this year. That is 19 more than at the same time last year.

* By comparison, on August 1st, 58 lives were lost in traffic so far in 2018.

* Surveys show that only 50% of Norwegian ten-year-olds are competent swimmers, a significantly lower percentage than in the other Nordic countries.

Raja pointed out that this year’s budget has put NOK 65 million into swimming training for kindergarten children, a scheme established in 2014.According to the Venstre Politician, the scheme in the 2019 budget has to be extended by NOK 35 million so that all children across the country will receive free swimming lessons.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today