A ‘School Zone’ Project, intended to protect children from motor accidents, was launched on Saturday during monthly community work (umuganda) at Groupe Scolaire Gahanga in Kicukiro District. The exercise saw the construction of humps, painting zebra crossings and installing of school signs.
The project is a result of a partnership between the City of Kigali (CoK), Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and KOICA Rwanda Alumni Association (KORAA).
It’s being carried out under the theme, “slow down and let’s save children’s lives together.”
Under the project, motorists will be sensitised on the dangers associated with speeding, reckless driving and using mobile phones while driving near schools.
“It is the responsibility of the Government and the City of Kigali to ensure the safety of school children. I support the school zone project and encourage all citizens to participate and support this project,” City of Kigali Mayor Monique Mukaruliza said at the launch.
Myungshyn Lee, the Deputy Resident Representative of KOICA Rwanda Office, said they seek to raise awareness to prevent injuries and death caused by traffic accidents, especially near schools.
“Our association members have realised that there are no special road signs near schools, especially in Kigali, so we discussed this issue with government institutions and they welcomed the idea to join hands to implement this mission,” Myungshyn told The New Times.
Dr Celestin Ntivuguruzwa, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education who attended the launch, welcomed the project, saying it is a good initiative.
‘‘It will complement different measures in place to ensure road safety in general,’’ he said.
He said the road markings will caution motorists against speeding to avoid accidents.
“There are no recorded figures of child victims of road accidents but this project is being carried out to prevent them,” he said.
He appealed to parents, teachers, and the public to monitor children’s movements and to respect traffic rules.
Vestine Uzayisenga, a resident of Gahanga sector, welcomed the project, saying it is a good response to parents’ anxiety.
“As you see this road is very flat and close to a school, it bothered parents to send their children alone due to speeding vehicles,” she said.
The School Zone Project will be implemented near 30 schools of Kigali for a period of one month and half.