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421 Coalition building to advocate for safer passage to and from school in Kenya
  1. Daphne Kemunto1,
  2. Bright Oywaya2,
  3. Stephanie Aketch3,
  4. Olivia Achieng4
  1. 1Usalama Watch Initiative, Kenya
  2. 2ASIRT-Kenya, Kenya
  3. 3Handicap International TUSK, Kenya
  4. 4Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital, Kenya

Abstract

Background In Kenya, many of the crashes involving children occur as they are travelling to and from school. The number of children who have died in the last five years is the equivalent to the loss of two entire primary schools. The legal framework in Kenya is insufficient to address this problem.

Description of the problem Multiple organisations in Kenya worked on improving the safety of children going to and from school, but from different angles. Usamala Watch Initiative focused on creating crosswalks, ASIRT Kenya educated school children on road safety, Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital treated victims, and Handicap International worked to enforce speed laws. A cohesive voice was needed to tackle the root problem—speed reduction to 30 km/h as recommended by the World Health Organisation and United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

Results In 2014, the various civil society groups working on road safety joined to form the Kenya Road Safety Taskforce, and began advocating for the Traffic (Amendment) Bill, 2014. The bill would reduce speeds around schools to 30 km/h, create designated crosswalks, and set school transport standards. The Taskforce created a joint strategy to garner political and public support for the bill, tapping into each organisations’ strengths and network. As a Taskforce, they received the support of key government entities, including the National Transport Safety Authority, Kenya Parliamentary Human Rights Association, and Kenya Women Parliamentary Association.

Conclusions By creating a coalition, organisations were able to mobilise each other’s resources, including political and media contacts, to advocate for the bill’s passage.

  • road safety
  • policy advocacy
  • coalition building
  • Kenya

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