Thanks to a donation by Kier Group, Moldovan farmers who use horse carts for transport have received all-weather, high visibility clothing to improve their safety on the roads. The jackets were given to farmers in the village of Lăpuşna, Hincești Raion – one of many villages where the differential in speeds between motor vehicles and horse carts has been putting farmers at risk.
Getting high-vis clothing to farmers in Moldova involved a chain of actors who each played a role in the project. The jackets were transported from the UK with assistance from the US Embassy in Moldova, and are being distributed as part of an Embassy-aided project supporting community policing. EASST’s partner in Moldova, the Automobile Club of Moldova (ACM), facilitated the donation to the Moldovan Road Police and helped to identify farmers with horse carts. The first villages to receive the high-vis are those where EASST and the ACM conducted road safety training for civil society organisations and community leaders as part of an EBRD technical cooperation programme targeting villages exposed to major road rehabilitation schemes. The communities themselves identified a need for help with equipment to improve the visibility of agricultural vehicles on the roads – particularly at night and during the winter months.
The donation of close to 5,000 high-vis items by Kier Group will not only help farmers in Moldova: it will reduced the quantity of good-quality, useable equipment going into landfill sites in the UK. When Kier Group acquired another UK engineering company, May Gurney, the company’s supply of high-visibility protective wear would have been thrown away due to the change in company logo. Many of the jackets, vests, shirts and trousers were still in their wrappers, coming directly from May Gurney’s storerooms. The donation of the jackets to EASST for use in road safety projects is the first of many projects we hope to develop in partnership with Kier Group and our EASST partner network.
Don Carroll, Director of the Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Section of the US Embassy in Moldova, was in Lăpuşna to hand out high-vis jackets to local horse cart owners. He was joined by Jamie Edmonds of Kier Group, EASST Director Emma MacLennan, Tatiana Mihailova of the ACM, Chief of the Inspection Police of Hincesti Oleg Tohila, Chief of Public Security Department in Hincești Alexandru Gabura and Oleg Ceban of the Moldovan police, STI Department of MIA.
Don Carroll welcomed the donation and expressed his pleasure at the opportunity to help protect farmers and their horses. Jamie Edmonds promised to look at ways Kier Group can continue to assist with road safety equipment. On the part of the ACM, Tatiana Mihailova expressed her commitment to continue the fruitful collaboration with the local police and farming community to reduce road injuries in Hincești.