The announcement marks a major milestone in Lusaka's commitment to reducing child road injuries and deaths
Improving Road Safety By Reducing Speeding Around Schools In Lusaka
September 7, 2023
07th September 2023, LUSAKA, Zambia – We proudly joined the Zambia Road Safety Trust (ZRST) to launch school improvements in four schools across Lusaka, namely: Kabanana Primary School, Kalingalinga Basic School, Lusakakasa Primary School, and the host school for the launch, Jacaranda Combined School. Representing the Resident Representative, James Wakiaga, the Senior Advisor for Climate Change and Environment, Dr Saleban Omar shared the successful construction of safe infrastructure under the UNDP Creating Cities for Non-Motorised Transportation Users Project with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
The project was implemented by ZRST — a local NGO that has been working on school safety with the UNDP, in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Road Transport and Safety Agency to curb the increase in road traffic accidents and pedestrian fatalities in the city of Lusaka.
Globally, over 3500 people die every day from avoidable road accidents, leading to around 1.3 million preventable deaths each year (World Health Organization, 2021). In Lusaka, 2240 people died due to road traffic accidents in 2022, showing a 76% increase in fatal road accidents since 2021. This concerning trend calls for quick action to prevent 115,000 deaths in the next 30 years. To reduce road traffic deaths and injuries in Lusaka, the city is promoting safer journeys to school for children by reducing vehicle speeds and separating students from traffic with infrastructural improvements.
In his remarks on behalf of the Resident Representative, James Wakiaga, Dr Saleban Omar, expressed UNDP's commitment to maintaining safe roads for students at the launch of the school improvements held in Jacaranda Combined School, noting:
“We need to protect vulnerable road users such as children, and this means improving road safety - especially around schools. A key aspect of improving safety around schools is ensuring speeds of 30km/hour or less through the provision of traffic calming measures and dedicated reduced speed zones in these areas of high pedestrian activity.”
Through the raised zebra crossings, rumble strips, footpaths, bollards and signage that were installed over the last few months in the four schools, this intervention will provide safe access to learning environments for the young girls and boys enrolled the selected schools. Furthering the efforts of the Creating Safe Cities for Non-Motorised Transportation Users project — funded by the UN Road Safety Fund in Zambia — these measures may be simple but they are effective and proven methods that save children's lives around the world. In the event of a crash, at speeds higher than 30km/hr, the risk of injury or death to a pedestrian increases exponentially.
Daniel Mwamba, the Chairman of the Zambia Road Safety Trust also highlighted that:
“Statistics from Zambia Police show that in Zambia, more than a quarter of all road traffic deaths involve children. To be specific, more than 350 children are killed because of road accidents, mostly as they travel to and from school. What would be the point of all the investment in schools, if so, many children get killed and injured just trying to access them?
We strongly urge and welcome active participation from the private sector to collaborate with us in championing child road safety initiatives. Investing in the safety of children on our roads is not only a moral imperative but also a strategic decision that directly impacts the future workforce of our nation. Children represent the foundation of our society, and their well-being is intricately linked to the prosperity and productivity of our nation."
The UNDP strongly believes that safe roads and safe cities contributes to our broader efforts of achieving sustainable development in Zambia — safe roads leads to improved health and wellbeing for pedestrians, environmental sustainability and equitable access to key public institutions and services.
About the UNDP: UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.
About the ZRST: The Zambia Road Safety Trust (ZRST), established in 2014, is a leading registered non-governmental road safety entity registration no: 101/0503/15. ZRST seeks to create awareness on road safety issues in Zambia and contribute to reduce loss of life and injuries on Zambia’s roads. The Trust is an operational NGO, meaning we plan and carry out boots-on-the-ground projects to accomplish our objectives.
Learn more: www.zambianroadsafety.org
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