By Robert Kumwenda
Students from Jacaranda school for orphans in Limbe have launched a road safety program to help young people to learn about and envisage local solutions to improve road safety.
According to Luc Dechamps who is the Executive Director for the school they will work with all stakeholders to improve road safety in Malawi’
He said solving the problem of road safety is complex because is not about teaching young people alone because there are other linked factors such as road quality, driver behavior, law enforcement, the behavior of pedestrians and cyclist, and developing effective medical responses when collisions happen.
“Prevention is better than cure. Young people themselves have real experience of surviving on Malawian roads, from which we all need to learn. Through their participation in a project, entitled Chitetezo are learning how to improve road safety and are using road safety art murals to tell their stories, hopes and wishes about safer environment,” he said.
Dechamps said this will change and improve road safety in Blantyre alone but the whole country at large.
Edward Duncan, Associate Professor in Applied Health Research, University of stirliing, Scotland said under the guidance of academics from the University of stirling and other Scottish Universities young people from the Jacaranda School for orphans in Limbe are signposting the way ahead.
He urged all Malawians to join hand in reducing these accidents especially to children because are the leaders of tomorrow.
Reuben Salima a student at the school thanked Professor Edward Duncan for working with the students at the school to improve the lives of young people.
He said this idea came about because a student from another school died in the road accident close to their school and were afraid that this can also happen to the student from the school.
Also speaking at the launch Jerald Lipikwe councilor for Limbe Central ward said this is a very good strategy and a good thing that will help the community.
He said our roads are not alright saying that he have a program that will start very soon to paint all roads as one way of reducing road accidents.
“Am sitting down with other partners like the Managing Director of Toyota Malawi has promised to help us and l can see that this is a very good way to start and l hope that other partners will come in to help us,” he said.
It is reported that the main cause of serious injury among young people in Malawi and across sub Saharan is road traffic collisions. In fact more young people die that way through other kind of incident or illness.