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Puma Energy Launches Road Safety Campaign for Children in Zimbabwe

Puma managing director Donatien Kodog

Puma Energy, a global energy company, has launched a road safety campaign for children in Zimbabwe, in partnership with Amend and the Road Safe Trust Zimbabwe.

The campaign, called #BeRoadSafe, aims to educate primary school children on how to avoid road traffic accidents and become responsible road users.

The campaign was officially launched at a ceremony attended by representatives from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructural Development, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Republic Police, as well as the five selected schools that will benefit from the programme.

Speaking at the event, Puma Energy Managing Director, Donatien Kodog, said that road safety was a matter of great importance to the company, as it was one of the leading causes of death among children and young people worldwide. He cited the Global Status Report on Road Safety, which reported over one million road traffic deaths last year, and noted that Sub-Saharan Africa had the highest road traffic injury rates in the world.

“Currently, Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest road traffic injury rates in the world, and child pedestrians are particularly vulnerable. In Zimbabwe, it is estimated that an accident occurs every fifteen minutes, resulting in the loss of lives daily. I am sure that you will all agree with me that these statistics are deeply worrying,” he said.

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He added that the #BeRoadSafe campaign was part of Puma Energy’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy, which also encompassed citizen and youth empowerment. He said that the campaign was first launched in Tanzania in 2013, and had since been successfully implemented in seven countries across Africa, including Botswana, and soon, Zambia.


He explained that the campaign was more than a campaign; it was a vital engagement platform that fostered a safer community for children. He said that the company wanted the children to understand road safety principles, bridging a crucial awareness gap within the community.

“We believe that every child should be able to travel safely to school and back. We are committed to playing our part in educating them on how to safely navigate traffic, and protect themselves from road traffic accidents. Through this initiative, our aim is to foster a long-lasting road safety culture, enhance the safety of children on the roads today, and prepare them to be responsible road users in the future,” he said.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi criticised motorists for disregarding traffic rules such as pedestrian crossings, resulting in loss of life.
“Our zebra crossings are dilapidated and need to be revamped and we have agreed with (TSCZ managing director) Munesu Munodawafa that when children go to school in the morning, most pedestrian crossings in the country will be monitored and have people who will assist them in crossing the roads,” Nyathi said.

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The #BeRoadSafe campaign will be implemented in five primary schools that are in road traffic accident hotspots. The schools are Ardbennie Primary, Highlands Primary, Hatfield Primary, Mberi Primary and Kuwadzana 6 Primary.

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Multi-award winning journalist/photojournalist with keen interests in politics, youth, child rights, women and development issues. Follow Lovejoy On Twitter @L_JayMut

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