January 12, 2023 The School of Transport and Logistics, Lagos State University, LASU, has won a $50,000 grant from the Volvo Educational and Research Foundation, VREF, to research the road and water traffic crashes in three African cities.
The LASU team, led by Prof. Samuel Odewumi, won the grant following the success of the proposal it presented to the Swedish Foundation in June last year.
The proposal had as a theme ” Comparative study of water and road traffic crashes in selected cities in Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya.”
The cities that the research will cover are Lagos, Accra, and Nairobi.
The awarded grant is SEK500,000 (Swedish Krona approx. $50,000).
According to Prof. Odewumi, apart from the LASU team, other researchers expected to be part of the effort are Prof (Engr) Kazeem Adebiyi of LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, currently the Rector of The Polytechnic Ibadan, Prof Abane Albert, Department of Geography and Regional Planning, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, Prof Gituro Wainaina, Business and Management Sciences Department, University of Nairobi, Kenya and Prof. Karen Lucas, School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED), University of Manchester. UK as the lead consultant.
Speaking further on the development, Odewumi said, “The research questions in our study area are: What are the numbers of accidents and casualties on the roads and waterways of the selected coastal cities?
What are the causes and patterns of the accidents?
“What are the differences and similarities in the data among the cities and between the two modes? What are the differences and similarities in the safety regulatory framework in the three countries.”
He added, “Studies of road traffic crashes are extensive, but studies on accidents on waterways are rarer. Cities with water bodies have urban forms with peculiar safety and environmental challenges. Safety policies are usually well formulated and regularly communicated to enlighten citizens, but this is less so for water transportation, especially for the local artisanal boat and ferry operators mostly patronized by the urban poor. Hence accidents are common, with many of them unreported.
“Therefore, this study seeks to obtain the number, pattern, causes, injuries, and fatalities of road and water accidents in the cities of study. Our objectives include a comparative analysis of the data among the cities and between the modes. It will also entail the evaluation of the safety regulations, enforcement, and enlightenment.
“The perennial congestion in these cities creates a regular situation of crashes that is costing a lot of lives and property. Added to this are the poorly maintained heavy trucks, trailers, boats, and ferries adding to the chaotic situation. It is further noted that the economic cost of these accidents and injuries has been estimated at 1% of GNP in low-income countries to which Africa belongs (FRSC, 2018, Tiwari et.al (2020)
“As an exploratory survey research, primary data will be by interviews with relevant stakeholders and field observations to document some cases of real-life incidences and casualties over a three months period. The secondary will be from the appropriate authorities. This study is expected to contribute to the understanding of the mobility safety issues in cities with road and water transport systems and contribute to policy guidelines on how to minimize accidents.
“It should be mentioned that LASU School of Transport and Logistics has become a global Centre of Excellence for Transport Research and Education. It has received several streams of young scholars from Ghana and South Africa for mentoring sponsored by VREF. We, therefore, express our gratitude to VREF for its continued support for research and educational development in Africa.
“The LASU School of Transport Team is profoundly grateful for the conducive environment provided by the able leadership of Prof Olatunji Ibiyemi-Bello, for research and the current pace of quantum development of LASU. Thank you, ma.”
Source: Vanguard News