OVER 12,000 school children and students from 14 primary and secondary schools in Tanga City have received road safety education.
The education has been provided through the Safe and Healthy Journeys to School project which commenced in the area in 2019.
Road safety education is one of the activities being carried out under the project, which is being implemented by Amend, an international organization dedicated to saving schoolchildren’s lives and making life better for them in developing countries, especially through safe and healthy journeys and improved environments.
According to Amend Country Manager Simon Kalolo, their focus on road safety for children resulted from road accident situation in Southern Saharan countries, where there accidents are high despite having fewer motor vehicles.
He noted that at a time when motor vehicles were increasing, Amend, through the Geneva-based Global Rod Safety Partnership (GRSP), decided to focus their activities on saving children from road accidents through road safety infrastructures and road safety education for children and motorcycle riders. “Road safety infrastructures play an important role in reducing road accidents,” he said.
According the Safe and Healthy Journeys to School project report, safe school zones have been established around eight schools in the city, namely Chuda, Chuma, Kana Central, Masiwani, Usagara, Martin Shamba, and Mwanzange.
The report listed several improvements, including “new pedestrian footpaths, a footbridge, and zebra crossings and installation of speed humps, road signs, pedestrian guard rails, and two barriers to prevent motorcycles from using footpaths.
He further said that, the speed limit has been reduced to 30 km/h, which lowers both the likelihood of collisions and the severity of injuries, should one occur.
A total of 4,773 children as well as the larger communities in the vicinity of schools have benefited from the infrastructure upgrades, the report added.
The project, according to Hassan Mbwana, the head teacher of Chuda Primary School, has assisted in increasing road safety awareness among all students, including those with special needs. “The risk of collisions has decreased thanks to improved pedestrian facilities around our school,” he claimed.
One of the pupils at Usagara Primary School claimed that several of her friends and one teacher had been struck by cars and motorcycles on the street in front of the school.
“Drivers used to take it as a shortcut, but now that the infrastructure has improved the situation, there are fewer cars on the road, and everyone drives more slowly. I can now travel safely to school,” she said.