Local celebrities endorse phase two of our project to make roads safer in Western Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan, News, Road Safety Governance and Capacity Building

Last month, we launched the second phase of our project to make roads safer in the Western Kazakhstan Region with the support of Shell Kazakhstan and Eni.

Phase 1 of the project saw the launch of Kazakhstan’s first ever regional road safety strategy at the end of last year. The strategy, which aims to reduce road casualties by 25% and child mortality by 50% by 2025, is based on an integrated safe system approach and focuses on 4 priority areas: safe roads, safe speed, safe road users, safe vehicles.

At the launch event last December, regional Akim (Mayor), Gali Iskaliev, said:

“The leadership of the region devotes much attention to road safety. The active construction of roads of regional and republican significance is underway in the region, the street-road network of the regional center is being improved, and modern means of road traffic regulation are being actively introduced. We hope that the measures to improve road safety carried out by EASST, Shell Kazakhstan and Eni will reduce the road crash rate in the region and save the lives and health of our citizens”.

Phase 2, while slightly delayed due to Covid-19, marks the continuation of a long-term partnership between EASST, Shell, Eni and the West Kazakhstan Regional Government (Akimat) to make roads safer for the region’s residents.

“As a company, Shell pays special attention to road safety issues at a global level. Our interest is in successfully implementing road safety projects in the various countries around the world where we operate. We are always ready to share best practice, because road safety is an important element of the security of the entire population living in the region, including our most important asset – our employees.”

says Zarina Bakenova, Director of Government and External Relations at Shell Kazakhstan.

The launch of phase 2 was marked by an online roundtable event hosted in the building of the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan in Uralsk. It was attended by the Deputy Akim, representatives of the Passenger Transport Department, Department of Internal Affairs, and Department of Education, as well as other local government departments and agencies.

The highlight of the event was the announcement of several local celebrities who will front a new road safety campaign across the region’s capital, Uralsk. Coming soon, they will feature on billboards across the city, calling on citizens to use seat-belts and child restraints, obey speed limits, and to not drink and drive.

Maksut Zhumayev, a noteable climber and adventurer, famous for conquering all 14 “eight-thousanders” (mountains higher than 8000m above sea level) across the world spoke about accepting the role of Road Safety Ambassador:

“Being always on the verge of life and death, you understand how important safety is! Big goals are not fulfilled quickly and instantly, and I am ready to contribute to this project.”

The project, which will run into next year, will also include police training on road safety enforcement, and training for road engineers on stakeholder engagement and the safe system approach, as well as sessions for teachers, journalists, civil society and other stakeholders on how they can influence and improve road safety in their work. Our local partners will carry out sessions for kids using the EASST Road Safety Education Pack, and we will continue to collect crash data and map high-risk areas for targeted infrastructure improvements.

On Eni’s support for the project Aizhan Khamitova, Head of External Relations said:

Eni’s principle of ‘adhering to two flags’ is based on working for the benefit of the company and the host country. Considering that safety is a basic right, the “Safe Roads in West Kazakhstan” project is not just a social initiative for Eni, but an opportunity to ensure safety not only for its employees, but also for the region’s residents.”

EASST’s Serghei Diaconu commented that the partnership between EASST, Shell and Eni – with the tremendous support of the Akim – has made it possible to start the project in the region, which, with a committed approach by all responsible agencies has the potential to drastically improve the road safety and save many lives.