iRAP Regional Director for the Americas Julio Urzua is in Lusaka, Zambia today for the Safer and Healthier Journeys to School Roundtable providing critical focus on the status and actions needed to assure African children’s basic right to an education and safe access to school.
Mr Urzua said every child has the right to an education, but every day more than 3,000 children and adolescents suffer a road traffic death or serious injury.
“Most often they are harmed on their journey to school and low cost improvements to streets such as footpaths, crossings and speed humps can make a huge difference in protecting them. School children in Africa are particularly at risk facing daily dangers of walking on the unprotected roadside and dodging fast moving traffic on major highway routes,” he said.
- Daniel Mwamba (ZRST) and Jeffrey Witte, Executive Director (Amend)
- His Worship, Mr. Wilson Kalumba, Mayor of Lusaka
- Saul Billingsley, Executive Director, FIA Foundation – Step Change: An Action Agenda on Safe Walking for Africa’s Children
- Mike Higley, Vice President, Southern Africa, FedEx – FedEx Support for Road Safety
- Simon Kalolo, Amend – School Area Infrastructure that Saves Lives
- Carly Koinange, United Nations Environment Program – Healthy Journeys to School
- Julio Urzúa, iRAP – Analysis for a Safe Road Network and Star Rating Justin Kabwe Primary School
- Christopher Kang’ombe, Mayor of Kitwe – Making change in Kitwe
A Roundtable on Safer and Healthier Journeys to School in Zambia will also be presented with panel members including:
- Stephen Mbewe, Director of Planning, Zambia Ministry of Transport
- Dr. Namasiju Siyumbwa Kunda, Non-Communicable Disease Deputy Director, Ministry of Health
- Mulenga Mubanga, Road Safety Engineer, Road Transport & Safety Agency Zambia
- Sergio Valdini – Deputy Country Director, UNDP
- Dr. Custodia Mandlhate – Country Representative, WHO
- Daniel Mwamba – Chair, ZRST
The day will be completed with a visit to Justin Kabwe Primary School, showcasing iRAP’s Star Rating for Schools app and infrastructure improvements that have raised the star rating of road access points to the school from 1-2 stars to 5 stars, under an Amend project with funding from FedEx.
“iRAP is working closely with Amend in piloting the Star Ratings for Schools app which will, for the first time, put the capacity to undertake safety assessments of roads around schools directly in the hands of local NGOs and the community. The tool will enable NGOs to apply the iRAP Pedestrian Star Rating in an easy to use and repeatable way to obtain an objective measure of the level of risk children are exposed to on their journey to school in African communities, guide investment and track safety performance over time. 1 star roads are the least safe and 5 star roads are the safest,” Mr Urzua said.
“Giving children safe access to an education each day is both a health and social justice imperative.
“This event and the work iRAP and its partners are doing in Zambia is immensely important,” Mr Urzua added.