By Daniel Mwamba
Every single day in Zambia there are serious road crashes, with thousands of people being killed or severely injured each year. We see the devastating effect on people involved, their friends and families, and all those who have to deal with the aftermath. Organisations operating in Zambia under their corporate social responsibility (CSR) can enhance road safety in the country.
The term CSR gives a chance to all the employees of an organsation to contribute towards the society, environment, country and so on. We all live for ourselves but trust me living for others and doing something for them is a different feeling altogether. Doing something for your society would not only take your business to a higher level but also ensure long term growth and success.
CSR gives an opportunity to organsations to work towards the betterment of the society and make it a better place to live. It goes a long way in creating a positive word of mouth for the organsation on the whole.
CSR plays a crucial role in making your brand popular not only among your competitors but also media, other organsations and most importantly people who are your direct customers.
People develop a positive feeling for a brand which takes the initiative of educating poor children or raising awareness on important issues in the community. It also goes a long way in building a positive image of the brand. Your brand becomes a “common man’s brand”. People start believing in the brand and nothing can help you more than your customers trusting you and your brand. A positive word of mouth eventually helps the organsations’ bottom-line.
CSR also gives employees a feeling of unparalleled happiness. Employees take pride in doing something for less privileged. CSR activities strengthen the bond among employees. People develop a habit of working together as a single unit to help others. In fact they start enjoying work together and also become good friends in due course of time. They also develop a sense of loyalty and attachment towards their organsation which is at least thinking for the society.
Who does not like to work with an organsation where management is kind enough to take out time for the society and contribute in their own small way? Ask yourselves, when is the last time your organisation did something for your society, customers, stake holders or environment?
The Zambia Road safety Trust (ZRST) is a leading non-governmental organisation on Road Safety in the country. ZRST is concerned with the rising number of road crashes on our public roads, while little effort is given to the problem.
With road crashes affecting so many lives, Road Safety should be one of the key issues in CSR in this country. In the past five years the country has recorded over 2000 road traffic accident fatalities per annum in addition to serious injuries and damages to property. This situation cannot be allowed to continue, it needs collaborative effort from all organisations.
To give an idea how organisations can be involved in CSR supporting road safety, here are some few quotes from organisations that have committed themselves to CSR on enhancing on road safety worldwide.
PUMA Energy Zambia plc (Zambia)
With our drivers making about 8,900 trips every month as they transport our products by road, we are alarmed by rates of road traffic deaths in the country. This has led us to embark on a series of campaigns to promote safer roads in Zambia. Puma Energy Zambia plc working in partnership with the Zambia Road Safety Trust has supported road safety education for over 35,000 primary school children in Zambia.
As the third largest motor insurer in the UK, Ageas is only too aware of the impact of these crashes. We see the devastating effect on people involved, their friends and families, and all those who have to deal with the aftermath. While our customers can be confident that if they are in an accident, large or small, we will be there to support them, it would be wrong for us not to do what we can to reduce the chance of them being in a crash in the first place. In 2014 we launched ‘Making Road Safety Pay’, a report that we commissioned from the Road Safety Foundation to provide a comprehensive view of road safety in Britain with recommendations that could be turned into practical actions to save lives and prevent serious injury.
Their goal is primarily to reduce the number of dangerous work-related situations in traffic by informing the employees about how to ensure better traffic safety. And secondly, to create awareness of safety on the road among all employees in PwC Denmark and their families.
In 2006 and 2007, Henkel Hungary increased internal information on the prevention of road accidents and organise education for Henkel employees by organising road safety seminars for all employees who drive a company car. Besides, we cooperate with the Hungarian Committee for Prevention of Road Accidents and the Hungarian Red Cross concerning participation in the road safety lectures.
Author is Chairman for the Zambia Road Safety Trust
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