Working in partnership with a non-governmental organisation called Amend, the energy company has provided a 54m/- grant to back the programme which also provides prizes to students who excel in an annual road safety competition.
Through the partnership, Puma Energy paid prizes to students who won this year’s road safety competition from several primary schools in Dar es Salaam.
“We will continue to invest in road safety awareness campaigns and ensure that this remains to be one of our agenda. We will also work very closely with various authorities like the police and local governments to ensure that this goal is achieved,” said Puma’s General Manager, Philippe Corsaletti.
Corsaletti urged the public to make simple positive actions while on the roads to save many people’s lives since everybody has a right to life and should not be cut short by the negligence by someone to observe road safety rules.
The Puma boss stated that children are very much exposed and vulnerable to road accidents due to reckless driving by some drivers, adding that it is everybody’s responsibility to work closely with the community to address these issues.
“The company will ensure that each student gets the opportunity to share road safety ideas and out of many through its road safety campaign, “Be Road Safe,” he noted.
The schools are the most deprived urban entities in Dar es Salaam and children face high risks of road traffic accidents everyday as they walk to and from school.
The police force recognises that road safety of a child is an important maternal and child health issue, said Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Fortinatus Musilim, on behalf of the Chief Traffic Police Commander, Mohamed Mpinga.
“Road accidents are among the leading causes of death in this country, behind HIV/Aids and Malaria,” said Musilim.
He commended Puma Energy for the great initiative of linking up with Amend to support government efforts of reducing accidents on the roads.
In Tanzania, road traffic deaths and injuries represent a serious and rapidly worsening public health crisis. The country is one of the worst performing countries, as far as road safety is concerned with 78 children killed on the country’s roads last year. During the same period, 182 children were injured.
ACP Musilim called upon other private companies to consider how they can continue building on similar partnerships, and do more to shift attitudes and behaviour to tackle deaths and serious injuries that occur every year on the country’s roads.