Technical Brief: Empowering road freight transport operators to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic

Since 2016, Transaid’s Professional Driver Training – Uganda project (PDTU) has been working to improve the capacity of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and passenger service vehicle (PSV) drivers in Uganda. The COVID-19 pandemic, first recorded in Uganda in March 2020, has added a number of new challenges for professional truck drivers at a time when the need to maintain vital supplies of foods, medicines and other essential assistance is increasingly falling to road transporters.

Despite the risk of exposure, truck drivers have continued to work through unpredictable and deteriorating working conditions, whilst facing increased scrutiny and stigma particularly at the beginning of the pandemics when many of the new cases of COVID-19 being reported in Uganda were from long distance drivers being tested at the borders.

Between August and November 2020, Transaid and Safe Way Right Way partnered with transporter unions in Uganda to produce truck driver-specific COVID-19 information and key road safety messaging in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. This information was distributed together with a package of essential personal protective equipment (PPE) by specially trained Field Officers to 3,994 cross border truck drivers from 9 different countries as part of wider sensitisation campaign.

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