Targeting the youth, Tanzania
Although accidents are the leading causes of death in Tanzania for children and youths aged one to 15 years, nothing or very little has been done to take road safety messages directly to the youth. InTanzania, BP is helping to take a first step in the right direction. BP recently targeted 300 school-going youngsters to raise the level of road safety awareness among primary school children and to inform the general public of how to minimize the risks of road accidents.
The project got off to a resounding start: Save a Child’s Life, Drive Carefully, Children Need Their Parents. These are just a few of the road safety messages coming from none other than the youngsters themselves.The pupils from St. Augustine Primary School in Buguruni assembled for a full one-day presentation to listen to various speakers, including former Tanzanian President Ali Hassan Mwinyi who officiated at the event. All were there to promote road safety and provide safety awareness information as well as teach the abc’s of how to remain safe on the roads.
The launching of the road safety campaign for children is welcome news for Tanzanians. The programme, the first of its kind in this high accident nation, drew the attention of parents as well as the media which acclaimed the initiative. The former president hailed the initiative and called on BP and other multinationals to expand similar safety projects to a wider school population.
BP managing director, Sam Mupanemunda, obliged, saying, “Two more road safety programmes will be conducted this year in other schools in Dar Es Salaam, the capital city of Tanzania. One key element that we had not focused on before in our road safety initiatives is the safety of the children on the roads. We feel our contribution towards safe driving in Tanzania will have a major impact and long lasting effect if we also involve the children in our campaigns.”
The programme has been designed in such a manner that pupils can easily grasp concepts of road safety. It includes a quiz on road signs, art competitions, formulating car stickers captions as well as singing. The schools maintain that the project has had a significant impact on pupils and has increased their level of road safety awareness.