Lusaka, Zambia – Monday, 20th October 2014 – The Zambian Road Safety Trust (ZRST) will on Friday, 31st October 2014 launch a road safety programme aimed at improving child road safety at the New Kanyama Primary School in Kanyama township in Lusaka. The Trust is working in partnership with the PUMA Energy Foundation and the international road safety NGO – Amend, on this project and will jointly launch it with them. PUMA Energy Zambia is in support of this initiative and will actively participate in the campaign.
The Minister of Transport, Works, Supply & Communication, Honourable Yamfwa Mukanga, MP, officially launched ZRST on 26th April 2014. The Trust’s vision is to match and exceed international Road Safety excellence consistent with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) advocated Safe System Approach, to free Zambia’s roads from deaths and serious injury.
The global rate of deaths and injuries resulting from road traffic crashes is increasing at an alarming rate. The WHO estimates that each year, almost 1.24 million people die in road crashes worldwide and as many as 50 million are injured or disabled. Every month a silent tsunami wave of road traffic accidents sweeps away 100,000 lives.
In Zambia, road traffic deaths and injuries represent a serious and rapidly worsening public health crisis.
According to the WHO, with almost 2,000 fatalities in road accidents per year, Zambia is one of the worst performing countries, as far as road safety is concerned. Last year, 1,853 people were killed on the country’s roads. Among these were vulnerable children who face grave risks as they walk to and from school every day.
The rapidly escalating road traffic injuries in Zambia can be attributed to the recent unprecedented high levels and rates of motorisation in the country. Zambia has less than 0.02% of the world’s registered vehicles, but almost 14 times the proportion of fatalities from road traffic crashes. These injuries occur predominantly to vulnerable road users and economically active males.
ZRST’s partnership with PUMA Energy Foundation and Amend will strive to change unsafe behaviour on the roads and to protect school-going children from road traffic injury. It will implement vital road safety activities in Zambia including co-ordinating road safety education programmes and conducting government and media advocacy.
The organisations chose New Kanyama Primary School as their first project because of its location in one of the most deprived urban areas in Lusaka and because four pupils have been injured in road traffic in the last year alone.
ZRST Chairman, Daniel Mwamba said: “Zambian roads can be a challenging place for drivers. Poorly maintained and overloaded vehicles are commonplace and in recent years the number of vehicles on the road has swelled dramatically, resulting in an alarming increase in the rate road traffic injuries. We believe this project will save lives and protect young children who are at a great risk of road traffic injury.”
PUMA Energy Zambia trusts that its involvement in this project will save lives on the roads as well as demonstrate the company’s commitment to road safety worldwide.
Vincent Faber, Executive Director PUMA Energy Foundation commented: “Young children do not understand or react to complex traffic situations in the same way as adults and this increases their risk to road traffic crashes. Thanks to Amend’s expertise in successfully delivering road safety programmes in Africa and ZRST’s local expertise, this joint initiative is taking the right approach to educating Zambian children to the dangers of the road and getting important safety message across. As a company and as a foundation, we are proud to be part of this life-saving programme.”
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Notes for Editors:
The Zambian Road Safety Trust (ZRST)
The Zambian Road Safety Trust (ZRST), a not for profit organisation, seeks to create awareness on road safety and contribute towards reduction in road traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities. Zambia, with almost 2,000 deaths in road crashes per year, is one of the worst performing countries, as far as road safety is concerned. The trust has a particular role to play in terms of personalising the Road Safety Issue, creating a sense of urgency and generating a demand for safety from the public. www.zambianroadsafety.org
Amend is a non-governmental organisation that works to reduce the incidence of road traffic injury via the development, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based programmes. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that “the interventions promoted by Amend are perfectly in line” with those being promoted by the WHO. Amend is a member of the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration, the coordinating body for road safety issues across the United Nations system. http://www.amend.org
PUMA Energy Foundation
The PUMA Energy Foundation supports worthwhile initiatives to improve people’s livelihoods in the countries where Puma Energy operates. We partner with local NGOs that run development programmes that achieve lasting change in the areas of education & training, health & safety, and the environment. http://www.pumaenergyfoundation.org
PUMA Energy is expanding its retail activities across Africa and worldwide. Recognizing that the low and middle-income countries where PUMA Energy operates often have extraordinarily high rates of road traffic injury, PUMA Energy is committed to undertaking activities to make roads safer. http://www.pumaenergy.com/en
Global figures on road accidents:
• 1.24 million road deaths occur every year
• More than 50 million people are seriously injured every year
• There are 3,500 deaths a day or 150 every hour, and nearly three people get killed on the road every minute
• US$3 trillion is the cost of road crashes every year
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