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Puma Energy: Addressing Road Traffic Injuries in Botswana

July 06, 2023
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Puma Energy: Addressing Road Traffic Injuries in Botswana

Today Puma Energy launched its ‘Be Road Safe’ campaign to address the growing epidemic of road traffic injury (RTI) in Sub-Saharan Africa. In partnership with Amend and in-country implementation partners SORSA, national non-profit making and non-governmental youth-led organisation that acts to keep young people safe on Botswana’s roads, the programme will focus on primary school children who are amongst the most vulnerable road users today. In addition to Botswana, the program will also be implemented across Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s highest RTI rates and RTI is the leading cause of death for children and young people over the age of five years. As the region with the world’s youngest and fastest growing population and a growing middle class, countries in Sub-Saharan with increasing numbers of vehicles on the roads, are likely to see the numbers of people affected by RTI increase.

Over 500 people are killed or injured on Botswana’s roads every year and as a responsible corporate citizen, Puma Energy Botswana is determined to play its part by promoting road safety in Botswana’s schools. “Ensuring high standards of health and safety is critical to Puma Energy’s business. This goes beyond product and facilities and our people; it extends to the general public – our customers and road users. Through this programme, we’ll be addressing a real issue in Botswana. We’re very proud to this,” concluded Puma Energy’s Managing Director, Dominic Dhanah in his opening remarks.

Puma Energy’s ‘Be Road Safe’ programme activities will be implemented across the country targeting primary schools identified as having high risk of road traffic injury. The schools identified to kick off the programme in Gaborone are: Diphetogo Primary School, Bophirima Primary School and Thabologo in Gaborone West, Phillip Moshotle Primary School in Block 8, and Notwane Primary School in Ginger. From the schools the road safety messages will reach into communities. 

The lesson plan under the theme ‘See and be Seen’ has been developed with the assistance of primary education specialists. It incorporates classroom-based instruction and practical activities in the schoolyard and is tailored to address the specific locations, situations and risks faced by children in different schools, communities, cities and countries. Activities include drawing competitions, a ‘kids court’ which empowers children and holds adults accountable for reckless driving in the proximity of their schools. This activity connects police, children, drivers, and the wider community in a way that benefits all. Envisaged ‘Be Road Safe’ clubs at the participating schools see children graduate as ‘Be Road Safe’ ambassadors, equipping them to provide peer to peer training to other children and to participate in motivating and educational activities that focus on spreading the road safety messaging.

The programme will be rolled out sequentially starting in Botswana in July this year followed by  Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.  It builds on a programme initiated by Puma Energy in Tanzania in  2013, which benefitted over 220 schools and 100 000 children across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Puma Energy’s road safety programme intends to improve the safety of African children on the roads today and to prepare them to be responsible road users in the future. Road safety is a pillar of Puma Energy’s corporate social responsibility strategy with the ‘Be Road Safe’ campaign being part of the wider ‘Be Puma Safe’ initiative which also includes citizen and youth empowerment.

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