27 July 2017

Freight and Logistics Favourite Charity Starts New HGV and LGV Truck Training Scheme  

Better Standards Ensured for Thousands of Drivers Aims to Bring Down Death Toll

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Shipping News Feature UGANDA – International development organisation and favourite charity of the road freight industry, Transaid, has commenced a major project to build the capacity of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and passenger service vehicle (PSV) driver training in Uganda. Transaid's involvement was secured as a result of its proven ability to raise the driving standards of thousands of commercial vehicle drivers in Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia, life-saving work which it began in 2008 thanks to the support of the UK haulage, air and sea transport and logistics sectors.

Transaid was involved in an initial 12-month project in Uganda which began in 2014, and highlighted the need to continue to build driver training capacity in country. Now set to become one of Transaid’s largest initiatives in Africa, the Professional Driver Training – Uganda (PDTU) project has been secured in partnership with the German development cooperation’s GIZ Employment and Skills for Eastern Africa (E4D/SOGA), local non-governmental organisation – Safe Way Right Way, the Ugandan Government, and the local private sector.

This is the first time that Transaid’s road safety work has received external funding on this scale, with previous projects relying heavily on the support of its UK corporate members, which send staff on secondment to Africa to share best practice, skills and knowledge with local teams, helping to introduce new skills in-country, as well as providing much needed funding and equipment.

The project’s primary role is to ensure Ugandan drivers are in a position to meet the needs of the oil, gas and related sectors, in the face of rising demand for qualified commercial drivers in the coming years. Thos in a country which currently suffers from one of Africa’s highest road traffic incident rates, claiming approximately 2,937 lives each year, this project will also contribute to improving road safety by enhancing driver training capacity.

Training will take place at three existing schools and a brand-new facility in the Mukono district, with students set to benefit from extensive practical experience. The training will follow the East African Community (EAC) Standardised Curriculum for Drivers of Large Commercial Vehicles – developed by Transaid as a means to harmonise road safety standards across the region. Neil Rettie, Transaid Road Safety Project Manager, said:

“We expect to see more than 1,000 new driving jobs created in Uganda over the next few years. However, many professional drivers currently lack the necessary skills to fill these positions safely.”

“The PDTU project will therefore be vital for increasing education and awareness around road safety, and driving forward the current standards of training available. Our ability to make a significant impact on the ground is huge, from the moment the first driver has been trained, we will be saving lives and improving livelihoods.”

Funding for the PDTU project is being made available jointly by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).

For anyone who fancies more involvement in assisting Transaid, with the added benefit of getting up close and personal with a beautiful region of the African continent, there are plenty of places still available for the ‘Cycle Zambia 2018’ event.

This will see riders undertaking a 480 kilometre route from Lusaka and facing stretches of dirt tracks, undulating terrain whilst passing through tiny villages and open bush, until the finish at the incredible Victoria Falls. The event runs from 21 to 30 September 2018 and you can find out more HERE.

Photo: Transport in Uganda can be primitive as this ‘Fire Truck’ shows. Courtesy of Rod Waddington.

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