Freight Transport Association members have donated £50,000 to support the work of international development charity Transaid as part of their annual membership renewals since January 2010. This has enabled over 1400 drivers in Africa to receive professional training, helping to make roads and communities safer.
FTA President Stewart Oades presented Transaid’s outgoing Chief Executive with a cheque to celebrate reaching the £50k mark.
"By opting to donate a proportion of their annual membership fee to Transaid, FTA members have not only shown an outstanding level of generosity in these undeniably tough times, but will help support Transaid to do the exceptional work it does in improving transport in those developing countries where it is literally a life or death issue."
In sub-Saharan Africa, road deaths are the third biggest premature killer, following HIV/AIDS and malaria. In many parts of Africa, road crashes occur at an alarming rate and high numbers of fatalities result. Many serious crashes involve heavy goods vehicles or public service vehicles, and Transaid is working to create a safer operating environment through the development of commercial vehicle driver training and qualifications.
Through its partnership with two national training institutions in Zambia and Tanzania, Transaid’s Professional Driver Training Project is improving commercial vehicle driver training standards and safety awareness in order to address the shortage of skilled drivers. FTA has also contributed to the project through the provision of expertise in the shape of one of its Vehicle Inspection Services engineers, who recently conducted a course on vehicle inspection to help improve day-to-day vehicle safety, which was well received in Tanzania.
Chris Saunders, outgoing Chief Executive of Transaid, said:
"It is difficult to measure how much £50,000 means to Transaid’s cause. Around 1.3 million people die in road crashes globally every year, and a large proportion of these happen across the developing world. We are very grateful to FTA members for there unswerving support in helping us to fund projects to raise awareness of this massive problem and help us tackle the challenges to make roads safer. The fact that we are already expanding the project into Tanzania is testament to this."
The cheque presentation was Chris’s last assignment for Transaid as the new Chief Executive, Gary Forster, takes on the role as of today.