Improving driver skills in Africa
Transaid’s programme support manager, Sam Clark, joined a line-up of renowned road safety experts to speak at the International Road Federation’s two-day Regional Road Safety Conference in Tanzania.
The seminar saw Clark set out Transaid’s approach of partnering with local driver-training institutions to build training capacity, while pushing for the adoption of improved standards nationally and regionally.
Transaid has coordinated more than 70 “train the trainer” programmes, with trainers passing on essential skills to more than 15 000 heavy-goods vehicle, service vehicle and forklift drivers in projects across Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi.
“No driver should have to go to work fearing they might not come home because of a lack of training, dangerous vehicles or road conditions,” Clark told delegates.
“It’s only through collaboration in forums, and having open conversations about what works and how to use limited resources, that we can empower people to transform their own lives.”
Clark shared examples of how Transaid has worked with organisations in different countries to improve health service delivery through building the capacity of local transport managers to oversee fleets, while reducing fleet sizes and driving up asset availability and utilisation.
Another key point in Clark’s presentation was the importance of implementing transport management systems. He cited how transport is critical for health service delivery and embedding a culture of safe and efficient transport use within the public and private sectors.
Transaid’s core work includes creating transport management systems for the public sector and assisting with the provision of professional driving qualification development and the training of driver trainers.
It also assists with teaching preventive vehicle maintenance management and introducing local, low-cost transport solutions, including its innovative bicycle ambulance. Further, Transaid helps promote road-safety awareness and shares its specialist knowledge with the humanitarian aid sector.