Friday, March 12, 2021

Road Transport Charity Gains New Support to Extend HGV Driver Training Programme

Transaid Going Places It Has Never Been Before
Shipping News Feature

UK – GHANA – SWITZERLAND – In an extraordinary year times have been tough for virtually every charitable organisation but good news as Britain's favourite transport charity has secured funding from the Puma Energy Foundation, a Swiss based organisation dedicated to financing good works in the areas of the world it operates in.

Much of Transaid’s funding comes from the national and international events such as sponsored bicycle treks, a source which has doubtless dried to a trickle of late, making the donation from Puma a gateway to enabling the charity to begin a a major new professional driver training programme in Ghana, taking its successful road safety work to West Africa for the first time. Vincent Faber, Executive Director of the Puma Energy Foundation, said:

“We are honoured to collaborate with Transaid, a partner with whom we share the vision and commitment of promoting road safety. Transaid’s driving training programme for HGV drivers aims at setting higher safety and quality standards in Ghana’s transport sector and make it an important pillar in the economic development of the country. We are confident that our partner’s consolidated expertise in developing transport projects in Africa will help unfold an impactful solution to improve the safety of all road users.”

Transaid is indeed ideally placed to implement the programme, which began in February, thanks to its track record working with local partners to improve the driving standards of 50,000 commercial vehicle drivers across Zambia, Tanzania and Uganda since 2008. The new three-and-a-half-year project will raise training standards and expand training capacity for heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers, with the aim of reducing road traffic fatalities and injuries in the country, vital work given that an estimated 7,000 people lost their lives on Ghana’s roads in 2016, according to the World Health Organisation.

Almost 95% of freight is transported by road in Ghana and with heavy goods traffic expected to increase in coming years, there are concerns there will not be enough experienced, qualified drivers to safely meet the growing demand, and what this could mean for road safety. Caroline Barber, CEO of Transaid, observed:

“We have seen first-hand the huge and positive impact our professional driver training programmes have had in sub-Saharan Africa, so to be able to expand this lifesaving work into Ghana, and benefit thousands more drivers, is really welcome news. It is our fundamental belief that every driver should be able to leave for a day’s work without the fear that they may not come home due to a lack of training, or dangerous vehicles and roads.

“With heavy goods traffic on Ghana’s roads set to increase, action is needed now to save lives. And that is exactly what our programme is designed to do: ensure a safe and sustainable transport sector underpinned by a skilled workforce, improving outcomes for drivers and making Ghana’s roads safer for all.”

One of the key objectives of the programme is to develop an enhanced driver training curriculum specific to HGV drivers, and push for its adoption at a national level by the Ghanaian government to ensure consistency of training standards across the country with the aim of saving lives.

Through its hallmark ‘Train the Trainer’ model, Transaid will build local skills to ensure sustainable and lasting change. The provision of quality professional driver training will be expanded, to increase access and ensure that drivers are trained to the highest standards, in turn improving their access to future jobs and helping to drive economic growth.