A Ugandan transport and logistics operator has been presented with a Global Fleet Champions Award for Sustainable Journeys in recognition of its outstanding commitment to reducing road risk and fuel emissions.
Global Fleet Champions Awards celebrate the best safety and sustainability standards of fleets anywhere in the world, including in low- and middle-income nations where occupational road risk management is in urgent need of promoting and encouraging. The Sustainable Journeys Award, sponsored by Verizon Connect, recognises organisations that have done the most to reduce risk and fuel emissions by enabling active and shared travel (cycling, walking and public transport use), or by improving journey routing to reduce distance travelled by motorised vehicles, and reduce motorised vehicles posing the highest risks to people walking and cycling (for example, avoiding routes around schools).
The Sustainable Journeys Award was judged by members of the Global Fleet Champions standards committee. The judges commended Markh Investments for its strong commitment to road safety through route hazard training and journey plans, and to sustainability through investment in modern vehicles. They also praised the organisation for the successful adoption of journey management principles in what is often a difficult operating environment, making it an exemplary role model for other operators working in Uganda and across sub-Saharan Africa.
More than 1.35 million people are killed every year in road crashes across the world and many more are seriously injured. Road crash injuries are the leading killer of young people aged 5-29, according to the latest Global Status Report on Road Safety 2018 published by the World Health Organization (WHO).1
The risk of dying in a road crash remains much higher for low- and middle-income countries than high-income countries. In Uganda, the rate of road traffic deaths far exceeds the global rate and is higher than the average for Africa. In 2016, Uganda’s road traffic fatality rate stood at 29 deaths per 100,000 people, compared with a global rate of 18.2 deaths per 100,000 people, and the African average of 26.6 deaths per 100,000 people.1
Uganda Police report that 3,689 Ugandans died in crashes on the country’s roads in 2018, and a further 9,539 received serious, life-changing injuries.2 The actual figures are likely to be even higher. In 2018, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa reported that roads in Uganda are the most dangerous in East Africa.3
Leading road safety practitioners in Uganda have repeatedly raised concerns about the country’s poor road safety record, citing poor road infrastructure, importation of poor quality vehicles and dangerous driving manoeuvres as key problem areas.4,5 They are calling for road safety to be recognised as a national problem that requires dedicated financial investment and human resources to address the social and economic costs to the country.
At the awards ceremony, Hope for Victims of Traffic Accident (HOVITA) unveiled its manifesto for safer transport in Uganda, calling on the Government of Uganda to end deaths and serious injuries caused by road crashes. HOVITA is calling for a national year-round campaign to raise awareness of key road safety issues; an action plan to reduce the risk of driver fatigue; and high safety standards for the maintenance and condition of all vehicles.
1. World Health Organization (2018) Global status report on road safety 2018 www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/road_safety_status/2018/en/
2. Uganda Police (2018) Annual Crime Report 2018. https://www.upf.go.ug/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/annual-crime-report-2018..pdf
3. United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (2018) Road safety performance review – Uganda https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/road_Safety/Documents/RSPR_Uganda_February_2018/Uganda_Road_Safety_Performance_Review_Report_web_version.pdf