Occurring all too often in Malawi

KNPO representative in Malawi; Lieza, witnessed a horrible tragedy earlier this week:

On my way back from Salima to Lilongwe today with a friend and four kids in our car. In a split second a 2 year old kid came rolling from underneath a car in front of us, bouncing off the tarmac. The grandfather who was walking alongside the young child, collapsed in shock by the side of the road. The little body, limp and dangly was pushed into the same car and sped off towards somewhere with medical help. Presumably dead
— Lieza

African nations dominate the list of road traffic deaths, with the WHO highlighting the gap between high-income countries and low- and middle-income countries. Of all road traffic deaths, 90% occur in developing countries, despite them having just 54% of the world’s vehicles.

Malawi's Minister of Transport Francis Kasaila has deplored the high rate of road accidents in Malawi, saying it is one of the highest in the region.

Whenever the name of Malawi comes to mind, everyone thinks of the poorly maintained roads, non existing street lights and poor road traffic conditions, as it highlights the need to protect vulnerable road users such pedestrians and cyclists.

For more than three years now, Malawi has joined the rest of the Africa in commemorating the African Road Safety Day, a day set aside in 2012 by the African Union Assembly and the United Nations as a day for raising awareness of roads safety issues as well as remembering accidents victims.

This is why Kids Non-Profit Organization initiated the The Beads Initiative, and the first country we took it to was Malawi. Our strategy is distributing reflective beads for them to make bracelets or necklaces, while providing road safety instruction. By combining instruction with personally-made handiwork we reach straight into the heart of these children to give them ownership of their safety. If children wear reflective beads in the evening, they will be seen at a five time’s longer distance than without, giving drivers crucial time to stop or swerve around.

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The road near the market in Mzuzu, Malawi

The road near the market in Mzuzu, Malawi