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Improving driving standards in Tanzania with Transaid
National Express driver trainers Raj Bhutta (left), and John Mitchell (right).
As part of our long term relationship with Transaid, five National Express West Midlands bus driver trainers have now swapped the streets of Walsall for the hot and dusty roads of Africa on a mission to help improve driving standards of their bus driving colleagues in Tanzania.
John Mitchell, Raj Bhutta, Ian Davies, Ken Billingham and Arthur Baddams, who are all fully qualified driver / trainers, have spent time in Dar es Salaam, the capital city of Tanzania, to help support a driver training project run by international development charity Transaid.
Transaid aims to improve people's quality of life in the developing world by making transport more available and affordable. It was founded by Save the Children and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) and works by sharing skills and knowledge with local people to enable them to put in place and manage efficient transport systems.
Currently, very few of the 30,000 bus drivers in Tanzania have received any formal training and none of them are 'officially' licensed. As a result, road crash rates in sub-Saharan Africa are very high and road deaths are predicted to become the biggest killer in the next 10 -15 years if nothing is done to avert the crisis.
National Express driver trainers Ian Davies (left) amd Ken Billingham (right) with their trainees.
Transaid's activities support the Tanzanian Government's programme of compulsory training and re-licensing for all of its bus drivers. During their two week visits our trainers assessed the skills of the local instructors, and took them out on the road for practical training and guidance.
In 2011, four of the volunteers had the opportunity to meet and talk personally with The Princess Royal at Transaid's annual showcase event. As Patron of Transaid, Her Royal Highness was extremely interested to hear about their experiences and the improvements they had made to road safety in Tanzania.
Take a look at some of the driving conditions in Tanzania on our video. It demonstrates the sort of challenges which bus drivers face every day in Dar es Salaam.
You can find out more about Transaid here