Road safety for key thoroughfare of Dushanbe, Tajikistan

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo
@pyrkalo

Road safety for key thoroughfare of Dushanbe, Tajikistan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and road safety organisation Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST) are teaming up with other partners for a road safety project in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, where a major international motorway will soon come into operation.

The new motorway forms Somoni Avenue, a busy, built-up area in the country’s capital, which means that both pedestrians and drivers will need to adopt new ways of navigating the potentially dangerous transport interchanges.

So the EBRD, along with the capital’s traffic police, is supporting EASST’s initiative to reduce risks for pedestrians and other road users through an awareness campaign.  The project is being carried out under the auspices of the global Decade for Action for Road Safety. The Young Generation of Tajikistan, a local NGO active in road safety education and awareness, is also on board.

The initiative will include collaborating with local businesses to promote the safety of their clients and staff; teaching children how to cross roads safely and the importance of being seen on the roads; and working with local residents to raise awareness of safe pedestrian behaviour.

The Dushanbe Road Safety Project will be launched at a forum in Dushanbe, with participation from the organisers, local stakeholders (including local businesses), the local and national authorities, and future road users.

The EBRD is supporting this project as part of a larger motorway investment where it is co-financing, along with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB),  the upgrade of section 1 of the M41 motorway linking Dushanbe with the Uzbek border. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing a grant for a different section of the same motorway, and is also supporting local road safety projects.

The new motorway will be crucial for national and regional connectivity. In providing a direct connection between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Turkmenistan, it is one of the most important international roads still requiring urgent reconstruction.

EASST has already implemented over 60 successful road safety campaigns in 11 countries, of which 10 were supported by the EBRD. EASST projects are actively reducing road casualties; for example in Armenia, road casualties have decreased by 20 per cent thanks to a seat belt enforcement campaign. With assistance from the EBRD, EASST’s work with public transport fleets in Chisinau, Moldova, has cut both public transport collisions and road injuries by half in just two years. That project aims to stimulate similar initiatives in collaboration with local stakeholders in Dushanbe.