PUMA Energy Foundation and the FIA Foundation have pledged their continued support for a road safety program to protect children as they walk to and from school.
The two global foundations are supporting the international non-profit organisation Amend to implement proven-effective road safety measures around primary schools on the Hansen Road and to advocate for the adoption of 30 km/h speed limits around schools throughout Ghana.
At the re-launch of the Amend-FIA- PUMA Energy Foundations road safety project in Accra, the Managing Director of PUMA Energy Ghana, Mr Yahaya Yunusa noted that, upon PUMA Energy‘s entering into the Ghanaian market in 2006, and they were immediately taken aback by the alarming rate of road traffic deaths in the country; for instance, in the first quarter of 2018 alone, 336 deaths and 2095 road accidents have been recorded.
Yunusa said, “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.”
“As such, this is not the first time we have been involved in Road Safety in Ghana – in fact, last year, we worked with AMEND and the FIA Foundation to provide road safety education, construct speed ramps, zebra crossings and lollipop stands outside Richard Akwei Memorial School. This was due to the high number of accidents involving pupils that often occur in front of the school.”
Child pedestrians are among the highest-risk groups in Ghana for road traffic injury. Unlike in wealthier countries, the vast majority of school children in urban parts of Ghana walk to school, and 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.
Yunusa indicated that previously, PUMA Energy donated 15,000 reflective bags to school pupils and constructed similar infrastructure at the St Joseph Anglican Basic School in Accra.
“We hold weekly staff road safety talks at all of PUMA Energy’s locations in Ghana while abiding by the PUMA Energy ‘Be Road Safe’ policy which highlights eight key road risks to be aware of,” he said.
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. Amend has also conducted road safety education in primary and Junior High Schools throughout the Greater Accra Region.
To date, Amend has worked in over 30 schools.
This work is part of an Africa-wide program supported by the Puma Energy Foundation and the FIA Foundation that is being carried out in ten countries: Benin, Botswana, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia.
By Joshua W. Amlanu