Source: www.africanakua.com| Judith Petronille Kabore, Burkina-Faso
Scores of students from a private High School, Cefise Benaja, in the Burkinabe capital, Ouagadougou, at the weekend have benefitted massively from an awareness campaign on traffic laws, being embarked on across the country by some alumni of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) programme.
Burkinabe Yali Network members, particularly Cohort 13 participants, organized the sensitization programme for the students under the theme “Positive Change”.
The team of five targeted young students in the capital because they are mostly the victims of highway related accidents in the country. Sadly, they are also the group of victims that lose their lives through this terrible phenomenon.
Undeniably, bicycles and motorcycles are the most popular means of transport for young people in Burkina Faso instead of buses because they are cheap, fast and very convenient.
Moreover, having a rider license to ride bikes is not compulsory in the country so many of the young people do not find it necessary to pass a rider license examination before using the bikes on the roads. These facts account for the major causes of the high bike associated road accidents in the country, especially among students in High Schools.
In order to stop this trend from happening, Burkina-Faso YALI alumni organized the awareness campaign on traffic laws at Cefise Benaja. The number of deaths of certain pupils from this school due to road accidents alone, coupled with the absence of traffic signs around the school were enough reasons for it to become the choice of venue for the sensitization programme.
The huge number of students and pupils who participated in the programme benefited a lot from it. They learned the basics about traffic laws and got a deeper knowledge about how to use the road through a PowerPoint presentation, a simulation exercise, and a question and answer session.
The YALI alumni, even though satisfied with the success of the programme, plan to advocate and push forward another agenda which is to appeal to city authorities to install traffic signs in front of the school and other schools in and around the city. They plan to carry this out with the support of the school administration, parents and pupils or students.