Puma Energy Foundation, FIA Foundation commit to Safer Roads, Support for Infrastructure and Advocacy for Safe Schools in Ghana
The Puma Energy Foundation and FIA Foundation have jointly pledged their continued support to issues of road safety especially in the area of child care. To this effect, the two Global Foundations are supporting AMEND, an international nonprofit organisation to implement proven-effective road safety measures around primary schools at Agbogbloshie on the Hansen Road and to advocate for the adoption of 30 km/h speed limits around schools throughout Ghana.
It is noted that child pedestrians are among the highest-risk groups in Ghana for road traffic injury. Unlike their peers in wealthier countries, a vast majority of school children in urban Ghana trek to and fro school on daily basis. They usually do so unaccompanied by an adult. A child in Africa is twice as likely to die on the roads as a child in any other region of the world.
Since 2016, AMEND has been working to reduce vehicle speeds and provide safe pedestrian infrastructure – footpaths, zebra crossings, speed humps, road signs, and more – around primary schools in Accra. The company has also conducted road safety education in primary and Junior High Schools throughout the Greater Accra Region. So far, AMEND has worked in over 30 schools. With the support of the Puma Energy Foundation and FIA Foundation, AMEND is currently working to advocate for the adoption of 30 km/h speed limits around schools across Ghana.
This is an Africa-wide program supported by the two Foundations and is being carried out in ten countries including Benin, Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia.
At the Relaunch of the AMEND-FIA-Puma Energy Foundation Road Safety Project on Thursday July 5, 2018, at the Ayalolo Cluster of Schools and Hansen Road SDA School in the Ashiedu Keteke Sub-metro in Accra the Managing Director of Puma Energy Ghana, Yahaya Yunusa, remarked that, the company was taken aback by the alarming rate of road traffic deaths in Ghana when they started business in the country in 2006 and that is what compelled them to lend support to the programme.
“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,” he stated.
Executive Director of the FIA Foundation, Saul Billingsley, was full of praised for AMEND for the work it is doing. He said “AMEND is proving, through evidence-based, applied research, that it is possible to protect some of Africa’s poorest children from road traffic injuries. The solutions – sidewalks, traffic calming, safe crossings – work. Now the challenge is to persuade governments and city authorities to make the change, and invest to protect their children”. He emphasized his Foundation’s resolve to continuing working with AMEND.
Executive Director of the Puma Energy Foundation, Vincent Faber, described the partnership between the three organizations as “pivotal in improving road safety for African children”.
He said “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 issue in 10 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
He also applauded the results that the program has achieved so far, committing to increase support to ensure a safer children’s journey to and from school and to their bright future.
Jeffrey Witte, who is the Executive Director of AMEND lamented the fact that thousands of children get killed or injured on Africa’s roads on daily basis.
He said safe infrastructure in school areas and the enforcement of 30 km/h speed zones around schools is a major move that will save lives and prevent injuries and that AMEND Foundation is on top of that game.
“The steadfast support of safe school zone efforts by the Puma Energy Foundation and the FIA Foundation demonstrates 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 their partnership,” he stated.