Transaid secures funding for phase three of Kenyan National helmet wearing coalition

International development organisation, Transaid, has secured funding from global road safety philanthropy, the FIA Foundation, to lead the third phase of its National Helmet Wearing Coalition in Kenya. This extends a project launched in 2021 to improve safety for the country’s 1.4 million motorcycles and their riders, the majority of which are used as taxis.

In the next 18-months, Transaid will support the establishment of one of the first helmet testing laboratory in East Africa in collaboration with the Kenyan Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA). Transaid will also continue to work with government to strengthen enforcement for helmet wearing, and advocate for a regional focus on motorcycle safety within the East African Community.

Sam Clark, Head of Programmes for Transaid, says: “A key focus of this third phase will be building the capacity to enforce helmet standards and capturing attention around motorcycle safety in communities. The coalition has done a huge amount of work so far with local stakeholders and we’re on track with where we expected to be, but there’s lots more to do.”

Aggie Krasnolucka, Programmes Director of the FIA Foundation, says: “Countries across Africa, including Kenya, are struggling to cope with the vast and rising number of motorcycle deaths and serious injuries. Transaid’s fantastic work in Kenya has built wider political and public understanding and support for safe, affordable helmet use. The FIA Foundation is pleased to support this next phase of Transaid’s work in Kenya and across the East Africa region.”

During the second phase of the project, which began last year, the coalition released a report detailing the health costs of motorcycle taxi crashes in Kenya, titled A Fare Price, which found that motorcycle users made up 35 per cent of all Kenyan road deaths in 2023, with only 63 per cent of riders wearing, or seen to be wearing, helmets – even though in the event of an accident wearing a motorcycle helmet can reduce the risk of death by 42 per cent and the risk of head injuries by 69 per cent.

Whilst Kenya is the first country where the FIA Foundation’s Helmet Wearing Coalition is being implemented, Transaid and the coalition have pledged to share learnings from the project with clubs and organisations worldwide, which share the aim of improving motorcycle and three-wheeler safety on a global scale.

This year’s biggest fundraising initiative by Transaid – a six-day, 474km cycle ride in October from Nyeri in the foothills of Mount Kenya, to stunning Lake Victoria – will include a visit to the motorcycle helmet project and some of the coalition partners, to give participants a real insight into Transaid’s life-saving work.

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