UN World Food Programme

Mission Accomplished! High Fives To All

The WFP+Renault Trucks mobile training unit travelled East Africa. Copyright: Renault Trucks

WFP’s mechanics are essential to maintaining and repairing our global fleet of 650 all-terrain trucks. Sometimes WFP-owned vehicles are the only ones that can reach vulnerable communities in the most isolated locations, navigating rocky terrain, thick mud, and dense jungle. Therefore, making sure they’re in top shape is essential. With around 25 percent of WFP’s trucks based in East Africa, it was an ideal region for a unique, hands-on training project launched jointly with our partner, Renault Trucks.

From October 2012 to March 2013, experienced and top mechanics from Renault Trucks volunteered to train WFP mechanics on advanced truck maintenance and repair in five different East African countries. Like any skill, truck maintenance is an expertise refined through practice. And while WFP’s mechanics have had a lot of this, the upkeep of heavy duty trucks in challenging environments can be a complex task – making it essential to continually strengthen skillsets.

To assist in the training, a fully outfitted Renault Kerax 6x6 truck was transformed into a mobile training unit – in essence a truck repair shop on wheels, with a real engine, vehicle parts and a variety of tools. As a mobile classroom, mechanics were able to participate and interact with the trainers while gaining practical maintenance and repair experience.

In total, 60 WFP mechanics were trained from Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and finally Burundi. But what do the mechanics have to say?

David Soroba of the Juba Fleet workshop is but one mechanic trained by Renault Truck staff, but he demonstrates what kind of knowledge WFP’s mechanics were able to take away, and how it contributed to their skillsets. “We learned many things, especially on how to maintain and repair the new generation Renault Trucks. It’s also been the first time that we have had the opportunity to participate in this type of training. We really appreciate and thank Renault Trucks for making this available to us.”

Check out this video put together by the team at Renault Trucks, and see our East Africa road trip in action!