Puma Energy Foundation and FIA – a UK-based international philanthropic organisation – have partnered Amend, an international NGO, to implement effective road safety measures targetted at preventing road accidents involving schoolchildren.
The three bodies pledged their continued support for the initiative to protect children as they walk to and from school.
In his address at the inaugural ceremony of a road project at the Ayalolo Cluster of Schools and Hansen Road SDA School at Agbogbloshie, Executive Director of Puma Energy Foundation Vincent Faber noted that the partnership is pivotal, as it guarantees some form of protection for the school-going African child.
The new project features a sidewalk/pavement in front of the school, a zebra-crossing and ‘STOP’ signs to aid the schoolchildren while using the road.
“Together, we are promoting the uptake of measures by local authorities to implement the necessary infrastructure around schools and advocating for long-term attention to the issues in 10 countries of sub-Saharan Africa,” Mr. Faber said.
The Executive Director of Amend, Jeffrey Witte, also lauded the partnering institutions’ commitment, saying: “Every day, thousands of children are killed and injured on Africa’s roads.
“The steadfast support of safe school zone efforts by the Puma Energy Foundation and the FIA Foundation demonstrate their vision and passion to tackle the leading cause of death and disability for children in Africa— road traffic injury. We are deeply grateful for this partnership.”
Commenting on Puma Energy’s involvement in the initiative, Managing Director Yahaya Yunusa indicated that the company, upon setting up in Ghana, was alarmed at the rate of road accidents in the country – especially those that involved schoolchildren; hence its decision to join hands in curbing the menace.
He stated: “PUMA Energy entered the Ghanaian market in 2006, and we were immediately taken aback by the alarming rate of road traffic deaths in the country. In the first quarter of 2018 alone, 336 deaths and 2095 road accidents have been recorded.
“With our drivers making thousands of trips every month as they transport millions of litres of our petroleum products by road, we feel compelled to support this cause to promote safer roads in Ghana.”
The joint exercise is part of an Africa-wide programme that is being carried out in ten countries: Benin, Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia.
Since 2016, Amend has been working to reduce vehicle speeds and provide safe pedestrian infrastructure: including footpaths, zebra-crossings, speed humps, and road signs around primary schools in Accra. The organisation has also conducted road safety education in primary and junior high schools in the Greater Accra Region.