International development organisation Transaid has delivered essential motorcycle rider training designed to reduce the risk of road traffic incidents for a group of 190 local field officers who provide support to secondary schools across Sierra Leone.
The field officers use 125cc motorcycles as their primary means of transport between schools, largely on unpaved roads and tracks linking main towns with isolated rural communities. Together, they are working on the Leh Wi Lan (Let Us Learn) initiative – funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and implemented by global consultancy Mott MacDonald.
Transaid was appointed by Mott MacDonald to carry out the UKaid-funded training, which built on the safe riding skills shared with each field officer during their induction, with a tailored course combining theory and practical riding skills. In addition, Transaid provided a ‘train the trainers’ course for six experienced riders, who each undertook a 13-day course equipping them with the skills to coach the other field officers in the future.
Key for Transaid was its ability to deliver the training using a team of four experienced motorcycle rider trainers, three of which were from the Industrial Training Centre (ITC) in Lusaka, Zambia – a publicly-owned driver training facility which Transaid has partnered with since 2008 to deliver professional driver training to internationally recognised standards.
Neil Rettie, Transaid’s Road Safety Project Manager, says: “To have a team from the ITC supply this fundamental training is testament to all of the hard work carried out by ITC staff, Transaid and our partners.
“Our focus has always been on sharing knowledge to build local training capacity and we’re naturally incredibly proud to have seen this training carried out directly by ITC trainers. Plus, we placed a real emphasis on transferring these training skills to members of the team in Sierra Leone, so they can deliver their own training in the future.”
Transaid’s training input focused on practical riding skills, teaching competence and confidence for the 190 riders. This included safe riding principles, compliance with the rules and regulations and instructions regarding the use of motorcycles which were specific to this particular programme. The theory training covered essential mechanical checks and routine maintenance, what to do in the event of a mechanical breakdown or emergency, plus essential first aid.
Each trainee was assessed at the beginning and end of training to gauge progress and confirm they displayed an acceptable improvement in riding competence. Riders were also provided with reference materials covering the key information they had learnt.
Globally, road crashes kill more people than malaria, and Transaid has been working with local and international partners for more than a decade to build the capacity of the transport and logistics sector across sub-Saharan Africa, delivering driver training courses for governments and international NGOs.
For more information and to find out how you can support the organisation visit www.transaid.org.
Note to Editor:
Transaid transforms lives through safe, available, and sustainable transport. Founded by Save the Children, The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), and its Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, the international development organisation shares 25 years’ worth of expertise in 23 countries with partners and governments – empowering people to build the skills they need to transform their own lives.
Transaid’s core work includes creating transport management systems for the public sector and assisting with the provision of professional driving qualification development and the training of driver trainers. It also assists with teaching preventive vehicle maintenance management and introducing local, low cost transport solutions including its innovative bicycle ambulance. Transaid also helps promote road safety awareness and shares its specialist knowledge with the humanitarian aid sector.
Transaid enjoys strong backing from the transport and logistics industry and the active involvement of its patron, HRH The Princess Royal.
For further press information:
Florence Bearman at Transaid +44 (0)20 7387 8136
Rebecca Gleave at Garnett Keeler +44 (0)20 8647 4467, or by email to